by Mary McPhail Gray
“I give them a safe place to rough house and learn how to use their bodies” states Ryan Daly—the play therapy leader at Nonviolence Works. For the past three years, Daly has been leading the Familia Y Mundo therapeutic after-school program participants in activities designed to get them moving and learn body awareness.
Daly and the FYM staff see dramatic differences in the students that participate. As he enters the classroom he notices youth who are “shut down”—even with their heads down and not talking. After a period in the play therapy activities—they are vibrant and smiling with happiness. Daly knows that this contrast is partly due to the advantage he has of seeing them after a long day in the classroom—often sedentary—and the chance to play and move is rewarding. [Read more…]