Brookside Community Play was born out of a desire to see God work in the lives of the children in our neighborhood. The educational model for after school programs is producing little results in seeing children improve in our school systems. We, at Brookside Community Play, knew there had to be something more that we could do. After much research, we found that the answer was more simple than we expected. The power of play has the potential to transform a child's life more than any other approach. Specifically in underprivileged neighborhoods where children experience trauma, play has the power to create resiliency that allows for children to bounce back from traumatic childhood experiences, to bring hope to their lives and to allow for change in their academic, social, emotional, mental, and physical struggle.
Beyond the Ball in Chicago, IL and the Hope Center for Kids in Omaha, NE have been helpful in our journey to see how play has effectively transformed urban communities. Also, in partnering with Up2Us in Boston, MA who has the leading research and training for coach-mentoring of children in high trauma neighborhoods, we believe we can equip volunteers to effectively build relationships with our children. In the June of 2016, we launched Brookside Community Play with our Summer Play program with over 200+ kids and adults joining us for our pure play event at the park.
Brookside Community Play is a program of the Brookside Community Development Corporation (BCDC). The BCDC is a ministry extension and partner of Brookside Community Church. We seek to serve as a connected, mission-driven organization dedicated to working together to create places for renewal, opportunity and development in the Brookside neighborhood.