Volunteers in Action

“I first heard about Brookside Play during a service at Northview Church. We watched a video about the purpose and goals and progress being made for children in this program. I felt so moved by it, so compelled to learn more. I had been praying for some time to understand where God wanted me to serve - I felt guided toward Play and was excited to get involved...”

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Andrew Neal
Meet Our Staff: Natalia Blondet

Natalia Blondet serves as the Play Director for Brookside Community Development Corporation. She is responsible for the growth, quality, and development of youth programming. Natalia’s primary responsibility as Play Director is to manage the day-to-day operations of Play programming.

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UncategorizedAndrew Neal
New Summer Play Shirts!

Since 2016, we've been spending every Tuesday night in June and July at Brookside Park from 5-8pm. Each year we've seen the crowds grow as more and more people experience the Power of Play.

This year we decided to do a revamp on the Play t-shirts that we hand out to adult volunteers. We once again worked with HellothisisJeff Design to create a shirt that is fun to wear and also communicates what we're all about. We hope you enjoy it!

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The Secret IPS Proposal That Will Change Start/Dismissal Times For Your Kids

A few months ago, I heard rumblings about Indianapolis Public Schools proposing new hours for elementary school students beginning in the 2018-19 academic year. The premise was that recent studies have shown how middle and high school students perform better in school when they have a later start time. In order to accommodate the transportation needs of a later start time for these students, IPS would need to move up start times for elementary students. The new proposal would have school start at 8:00am and dismiss at 2:35pm.

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Meet Our Staff: Kelli Webster, Community Coordinator

The next staff member up on the blog is Kelli Webster, our Community Coordinator for Brookside Elementary School IPS #54! Even though you may not see her every day at Play, Kelli fills an important role for our organization. Working primarily out of the school, Kelli serves as a connector between Brookside Elementary, the students, their parents, and the many after school programs offered in the neighborhood. 

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How MLK Jr. Shapes Play

Sometimes it feels like we have this idealistic picture of Martin Luther King Jr. in our heads. We remember him as the “Dream” guy. The hopeful guy. The sweet man who spoke out for equality and unity.

Unfortunately, we’ve whitewashed the memory of this man and what he stood for. We’ve made him safe and comfortable, but the thing about Martin Luther King Jr. is that he was never safe and comfortable. He was a boat rocker. He was a rabble rouser. He was hated and despised and he threatened the holders of power.

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This Is Real Life...

Confession Time:  I’ve been in a real funk for the past couple of months. I have felt myself becoming burdened by the stress and responsibility of running Brookside Community Play. Last year was so exciting because everything was brand new. It was the first time we had ever tried to create Summer Play events where hundreds of families from the community could come together on Tuesday nights to build relationships. It was the first time we had ever launched a play-based after school program that would focus on providing a safe environment where kids from our neighborhood could experience the love and hope that a gospel-centered community can offer.

When everything is new, the mountain that needs to be climbed seems to be within reach. When everything is new, you have no idea what it will take to pull off the vision. You just do it because there is no other option.

Last year everything was new, but this year…

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Why Play Is Important To Me

As the mom of 8 children and the foster-mom to over 20 children, I have seen first-hand the power of play. When many of my children came to live with us, they didn’t know how to play. We placed toys in front of them but they sat and stared. We took them to the playground but the swings made them feel unsteady and afraid. We had one very special therapist come into our lives that worked diligently with our children. She relied solely on play.

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