Changes in Game to Grow Programs

As we announced at the end of 2023, Game to Grow has been undergoing an intentional pause in much of our programming. This invaluable time has provided us an opportunity to deeply reflect on our vision, opportunities for change, and the best way to maximize our impact. Our mission has always been to help people feel safe, seen, and supported as they build their social confidence through guided play. In examining how we can best serve the community with our current skills and resources, and serve our vision of “a game in every classroom, clinic, hospital, and home” we have decided to shift our priority away from direct services through our social flourishing program so that we can focus more on supporting community partners and individuals in implementing intentional games programs for their own communities.


This means that the biggest change to Game to Grow will be the closure of our social flourishing groups program as it has existed over the past few years, a decision that was incredibly difficult to make. During the COVID-19 pandemic we responded to the even greater need for social interaction by increasing our direct service programming by over 300%. We recruited tremendous team members from all over the country and opened new group offerings to serve even more populations. This rapid growth “met the moment,” but ultimately did not prove organizationally sustainable and so we became concerned about our ability to be a long term partner for those in our community who rely on stability. As much as we deeply love this program and all of our participants and their families, we knew we needed to make this change.


Our programs have always been built on the power of the relationships and the healing fellowship that can be harnessed around the playspace, and our new focus will be on investing in the individuals and organizations who are best able to impact their communities and spread the life-enriching power of serious play. Hundreds of people have looked to Game to Grow to provide direct services, and we’ve been so grateful for the opportunity to serve so many, but it is important to expand our vision past what Game to Grow can do alone.


Thanks to Critical Core and Game to Grow’s training program, there are facilitators around the world who are running intentional gaming programs using the Game to Grow Method. These are the ambassadors for the vision of “a better way to play” that Game to Grow has been working to spread. Some of the facilitators who have been working with Game to Grow’s direct service programs are continuing to offer game-based programs. We will list them on our website so that the families and communities that have come to rely on our direct service programs can look for them there to receive game-based services from the immensely talented and passionate individuals who have been a part of our team.


The change in our direct social flourishing group programs does not mean that we will completely cease offering direct services. Our hospital gaming program is still using Critical Core to help hospitalized youth each week, and some limited groups may be offered at a later date as part of our ongoing training and deep connection to this work.


If you’d like to explore receiving training or support to serve your own community, please send us a message!

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