On April 16, Molly Sowles, 29, of Charlestown, will run in her first Boston Marathon. The former collegiate athlete and experienced marathon runner will lace up to support Playworks New England.
Playworks New England, a regional branch of a national nonprofit, leverages the power of play to transform children’s social and emotional health. Through direct-service coaching and training, Playworks partners with elementary schools, districts, and after-school programs to integrate games into recess to create a place where every kid on the playground during recess can feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills needed to thrive in the classroom and beyond. During the 2017-2018 school year, Playworks New England is serving 75,000 students in 140 elementary schools across Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
Sowles, a social worker at Eliot Community Human Services in Malden, learned about Playworks New England through a friend who ran in the Boston Marathon for the organization last year. After meeting the organization’s national founder and CEO and learning about Playworks’ impact on children’s social emotional health in schools nationwide, she knew she had to get involved.
“Play is so simple, yet so important to youth development,” says Sowles. “Technology is changing the way kids play. Playworks New England is working to provide elementary school students with opportunities to get in the game, which not only gets kids moving, but helps them to develop critical social-emotional skills, such as conflict resolution, collaboration, and leadership, needed for future success.”
Sowles, a Cumberland, M.E. native, is no stranger to the emotional and physical training needed to complete a marathon. She previously ran the New York City Marathon in 2015 and has completed four-half marathons and numerous 5K and 10K events. In addition, she played four years of varsity lacrosse at Endicott College.
“I am so excited to run in the Boston Marathon to raise money and awareness for Playworks New England,” says Sowles. “To prepare for the event, I am going on short and long training runs with friends, the Playworks team and by myself and I am more conscious of what food I am using to fuel my body. In addition, I am gearing up to host two fundraising events to support the cause. My personal fundraising goal is to raise $7,500.”
For more information about the Playworks New England Boston Marathon team or to support Molly Sowles Curtis, visit: https://www.crowdrise.com/mollysowles.
About Playworks New England
Playworks New England is a regional branch of a national nonprofit working to bring play and physical activity into elementary schools as a means to improve the health and well-being of children and to enhance learning. Through onsite direct-service coaching and training school faculty and staff, Playworks integrates physical activity and social and emotional learning skill-building into organized activities during recess to create a space where students feel included, are active, and build valuable social and emotional skills needed to thrive in the classroom and beyond. Entering its 12th year, Playworks New England serves more than 75,000 students in 140 elementary schools across Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. To date, the nonprofit has served 210,000 youth. For more information, visit: http://www.playworks.org/communities/massachusetts.