Brookside Community Play


Brookside Community Play was created out of Brookside Community Church’s desire to address the need for true youth development in the neighborhood. More than just academic remediation and homework help, Brookside Community Play uses the power of play to create a safe environment where every child has the opportunity to experience caring adult relationships as they learn to be the individual that God has created them to be. For elementary-aged children, we focus on character development, exposure to new play opportunities, and overcoming trauma by teaching resiliency. For middle school and high school students, we instill hope and Gospel-mindedness through education and employability.


255 children served

through our programs in 2017


130 volunteers

made a difference in 2017


78% improved socio-emotionally

As evidenced by Devereux assessments

Why play works

Research has shown that children living in low-income neighborhoods are subjected to childhood trauma on a daily basis. Whether it’s having a family member incarcerated, wondering where their next meal will come from, or being a victim of abuse or neglect, our children have the deck stacked against them. Instead of focusing on the academic issues our children face, Brookside Community Play addresses the core issues instead of the symptoms. Through play, children move past survival mode into a mentality of development. Through play, we’re seeing lives of children changed every year as more than 250 students participate in our afterschool and summer programs. In 2017, we saw that 78% of our participants experienced socio-emotional growth through our programming.

Here’s what we do

Brookside Community Play serves children in K-8th grade through our afterschool programming. We run six-week sessions of the afterschool program throughout the year. We also offer summer programs that include Summer Play, which takes place every Tuesday night in June and July at Brookside Park, as well as Play Camps, which are one-week programs focusing on arts, STEM, and sports.


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