Times are changing here at Game to Grow.
2020 and 2021 were strange years. For many of us, they were opportunities for reflection and prioritization as the world became a very different place than it had been in 2019.
Game to Grow transitioned its in-person game-based social groups to virtual, and we expanded to serve other regions across the U.S. and the globe. We are now serving more than three times as many participants than we served as a small Seattle-based nonprofit. We formally launched our training program and trained hundreds of therapists, educators, and advocates in the Game to Grow Method, helping them benefit their own clients, students, and communities. Our counseling program also expanded, and we launched a formal psychological assessment program to help even more individuals and families get the support that they need. We expanded our hospital program, serving hospitalized youth in San Antonio and Seattle. We received tremendous support from the wider community in small and large donations as the realities of COVID revealed our work to be more important than ever.
2020 and 2021 were years of tremendous growth, and that growth wasn’t sustainable.
As 2022 came to a close, we had to make some tough decisions about how to continue doing what Game to Grow does best. Game to Grow has reduced its workforce to prioritize serving the communities who rely on us most. Adam Johns, co-founder and co-executive director, has stepped away from Game to Grow. He’ll continue to be an advocate of Game to Grow’s mission and a firm believer in the work Game to Grow is doing. His contributions to the larger field of applied gaming over the last decade will continue to impact countless lives around the world.
Additional staff impacted by the reduction in force include Dr. Elizabeth Kilmer, who served as our director of education and training, and Maja Nordum, who managed the Critical Core project since its successful funding on Kickstarter in 2019. Dr. Kilmer was an incredible trainer and helped Game to Grow’s training program reach a global audience of professionals. Maja was instrumental in moving the Critical Core project from a vision into a tangible physical product that has been distributed to thousands.
Staying goodbye to staff is never easy, especially those who have contributed so much to Game to Grow. We wish the best to Adam, Elizabeth, and Maja as their adventures continue. They’ve made an unquestionable mark at Game to Grow.
What’s next for these programs? They’ll be in good hands. Game to Grow’s training program and Critical Core will continue under the stewardship of Executive Director Adam Davis, who was co-developer of the training curriculum and lead author of Critical Core. Additional staff members from Game to Grow will also help these programs thrive sustainably. As multipliers of Game to Grow’s impact, Critical Core and the training program will continue to be a priority, though at a more sustainable growth pace than over the past few years.
Game to Grow relies on the support of our community, and that is more true now than ever. Donating is the best way to ensure Game to Grow continues to reach communities around the world with the life-enriching magic of play. If you missed our end-of-year Play It Forward campaign but still wish to donate, click here to visit Game to Grow’s Donation page. We are grateful for your support.