G2 offers community volunteers the chance to engage in child-directed play sessions with children in kindergarten through second grade. Volunteers allow their child play buddy to determine the direction of the play, celebrate their choices, and encourage students to explore their ideas and interests. This work is rooted in the idea that play is a form of expression, exploration, and communication. It’s a way to test boundaries and carve out a sense of identity. G2 volunteers help provide a space for children to do this in a safe, structured way.
The Strong’s G2 program seeks to build intergenerational relationships with volunteers and children through its play-based initiatives that foster self-confidence, community, friendship, and social and emotional skills.
G2 believes play is a basic human right, and that all children should have access to healthy, empowering play spaces. Children are natural teachers of play and can communicate their interests, passions, and ideas. G2 volunteers give children the freedom to build, communicate, and explore through play, and in return, they find their own worlds enriched and transformed.
Volunteers spend two hours each week engaged in child-directed play and conversation with
three assigned children. They meet with each child for 30 minutes, and afterwards have a
discussion led by the G2 site coordinator.
Two regularly scheduled hours each week from early October through May, while school is in
If you know how to play Candyland and can make “cookies” out of Play-Doh, you’ve got what it
takes. The most important skills are to enjoy being with children and listen to what they have to
There is an orientation session each fall and three in-service classes throughout the year.
All children in a G2 classroom participate.
We understand that life can be unpredictable and situations and opportunities arise when you
can’t make a session. There are substitute volunteers to help. G2 is all about creating a
relationship with children who look forward to being with you each week, so please make every
effort to maintain a consistent schedule, though.
G2 is currently in the Rochester City School District, Greece School District, and East Rochester
You will develop a sense of purpose and lasting connections to the children. Many G2
volunteers also gain active social friendships with the other adults in their G2 group.
The play sessions last from October through May. Sometimes there is an opportunity to work
with the same child for a second year. Additionally, the older children who had G2 participation
in previous years love to see their adult friends at school. They are quick to say hi and chat
about how things are going for them.
Play is the activity of G2 but not the goal. The relationships that these play sessions nurture are
the goal of G2. By building relationships where children feel seen and loved, G2 helps equip
them with self-confidence to engage in all other parts of the school day. By creating a play
space where children can share about themselves, ask questions, and test out relationship
skills, volunteers help them build bridges between the skills they’re learning in class and their
interests, passions, and ideas.
Yes. In addition to weekly volunteers, G2 needs substitutes for the times a regular volunteer is
unable to participate.