Relationship to Ensure More Children Around the Country Have Access to Play

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) today announces a national partnership with the leading organization leveraging the power of play, Playworks, to bring play to more children and communities across the nation. Through volunteerism, community service and direct funding, Mattel, with Playworks, will ensure underprivileged children have the access, tools and ability to enjoy the benefits of play.

A Playworks Junior Coach gets all the kids on the playground involved in an active game (Photo: Busi ...

A Playworks Junior Coach gets all the kids on the playground involved in an active game (Photo: Business Wire)

This press release has an accompanying Smart Marketing Page providing further details about the organization, products and services introduced below. You can access the Smart Marketing Page via the following link:

Playworks is an organization that works on-site with low-income schools to create a powerful and positive play system that promotes learning and development, teaches teamwork and expands social skills. Through a model known as the "Junior Coach" program, Playworks encourages teams of students to understand fair play, conflict resolution and more. Currently, Playworks is in 320 schools and 23 cities around the nation. In partnership with Mattel, Playworks plans to expand the program to even more schools around the nation, providing children in some of the most underserved neighborhoods with an opportunity to take play to the next level.

The partnership with Playworks marks the seventh signature philanthropic partner for Mattel. Over the next two years, Mattel has pledged more than $1 million from the Mattel Children's Foundation to support Playworks initiatives.

"Today, millions of children lack enriching play experiences because of various barriers, such as the lack of safe places or tools to play. Our goal with the Playworks partnership is to help break down these barriers and reinstate play as a fundamental right of childhood and an invaluable building block for emotional and physical development," said Deidre Lind, executive director of philanthropy programs at Mattel.

In addition, Mattel and Playworks plan to pilot the Playworks model internationally by training Mattel employees in other countries to bring healthy, inclusive play to schools in communities where they live and work.

"We are excited to partner with Mattel to expand play to new places," said Jill Vialet, founder and CEO of Playworks. "Mattel is our first national partner and is a powerhouse company with a long and proven commitment to play. With their help, we hope to make 2012 the best year for play yet."

Mattel and Playworks recently conducted a live chat on Facebook underscoring the importance and power of play. Hosted by and moderated by Jess Weiner, author and confidence expert, Mattel's resident "Dr. of Play," Michael Shore, Ph.d., and Vialet sat down to discuss constructive play tips for both parents and kids that help bolster confidence and make playtime at school and home more effective. To view an archived version of the discussion please visit

"Play is a key ingredient for raising a healthy, confident child," said Jess Weiner, author and confidence expert. "Play allows you to stretch your imagination, expand your vision, and enhance your quality of relationships. Parents can use play as a basic connecting tool with their children - even as they advance into the teen years, and maintaining a healthy playful relationship can actually help navigate even the trickiest of teen dynamics. Play is the universal bridge between our hearts, minds and souls - and it helps build confidence by allowing safe boundaries and limitless opportunities for self-expression."

In 2011, Mattel maintained its commitment to contribute 2% of pretax profit toward social impact efforts for the eighth year in a row. This year marked more than $20 million in cash and product donated to philanthropic programs like Playworks, Save the Children and the American Red Cross Disaster Response, Special Olympics World Games and more.

About Mattel

As the worldwide leader in play, the Mattel family comprises such best-selling brands as Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels®, American Girl® and Fisher Price® brands, which includes Little People®, Power Wheels® and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2011, Mattel was named as one of FORTUNE Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for the fourth year in a row, and was also ranked among Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs approximately 31,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. At Mattel, we are "Creating the Future of Play." Follow Mattel on and

About Playworks

Playworks is a national nonprofit organization that provides safe, healthy, inclusive play and physical activity to schools at recess and throughout the entire school day. Founded in 1996, Playworks is the only nonprofit organization in the country to send trained, full-time adults to low-income, urban schools. By 2015, Playworks will serve more than 650 schools in 27 US cities. In addition to its direct services, Playworks Training provides training and technical support for schools, districts and other organizations that wish to incorporate play into their day. For more information, visit


Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:

Jules Andres
Cindy Wilson

Source: Mattel

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