Why Play?

Play is not a luxury but rather a crucial dynamic of healthy physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development at all age levels

— David Elkind, Ph.D., The Power of Play: Learning What Comes Naturally



Why Did We Start Play?


Brookside Community Play was created in 2016 to combat the real-life trauma that kids in our community face on a daily basis.

Academic failure, abuse, neglect, and food insecurities are issues that are commonplace in our poverty-stricken neighborhood.

Research shows that children struggle to grow socially and emotionally when they experience high levels of trauma. A child’s brain cannot function when it resides in a constant state of chaos. Our play-based programs allow us to create safe play opportunities where kids can develop healthy relationships with adults and peers.


Learn more about the power of play:

Read: American Academy of Pediatrics | Time.com

Visit: Playworks.org


Brookside Community Play exists to provide structured play opportunities that help children and youth grow emotionally, spiritually, physically, and academically.

Our Mission


Children and youth can overcome the effects of trauma to live a hope-filled life.

Our Vision

By the Numbers


84% of our participants saw improvement in their social and emotional well-being.*


* As measured by the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (https://apertureed.com/dessa-overview/)


750+ hours of play-based programming each year


In 2018:


64 children participated in our after school play program.

175 children participated in our summer play program.

38 children participated in our play camps.


100% of participants report that they made a new friend through play programming.

100% of participants report that they solved a problem using a skill that was taught through play programming.


The need in our community is great.



46.2% of 3rd grade students are failing the IREAD-3 test, prohibiting them from advancing to 4th grade.

Source: https://indianapublicmedia.org/

Only 9.1% of students in our local elementary school, passed both the English/Language Arts and Math portions of the ISTEP test in 2018.

Source: Indy Star

Only 4 out of 100 children in our neighborhood will obtain at least a Bachelor’s Degree.

Source: SAVI.org


65% of families with children under 18 live in poverty in our community.

Source: SAVI.org

71% of families in our community have an income below 185% of the federal poverty level.

Source: SAVI.org

For every 1,000 kids in our neighborhood, 40 will be or have been through the juvenile justice system.

Source: SAVI.org


10 out every 100 people in our neighborhood are victims of violent crimes.

Source: SAVI.org

40% of households in our neighborhood receive food stamps.

Source: SAVI.org

100% of the children in our after school programs come from households below the Federal Poverty Level

(self-reported income at registration)


Our Story


Brookside Community Play was created in 2016 as an initiative of Brookside Community Church and Brookside Community Development Corporation to help children and youth in our community overcome the effects of trauma and develop into the person that God has created them to be.


Get involved today!