Our Story

Play Pals was started in February 2020 to bring social groups to families of young children who were lacking peer interaction during the COVID pandemic.  Play Pals has grown into an inclusive program that supports play, learning, curiosity and friendships. 
Our founders are Claire and Monica - A speech language pathologist and special educator with a background in reading instruction.  Our staff are students from California State University East Bay who are studying Speech Pathology and Childhood Development. 
We are excited to offer our first summer program and we hope you can join us!

Boy Playing with Abacus
 

Our Team

Learning Through Play

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Jennelle Torres Wadford

Director of Preschool Programming

Jennelle has a Bachelors Degree in Human Development with a concentration in Early Childhood Development from California State University East Bay. She is passionate about Reggio inspired curriculum and early childhood development as a whole. She brings a decade of experience in early education, a few of those years managing the operations of preschool programs of various sizes. She is a true believer in meeting children where they are developmentally and the understanding that you can only play along in the world of children if you view them all as competent and capable. Jennelle looks forward to serving the next generation and the village that raises each and every one of them in her role at Play Pals.

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Fatima Padilla

Camp Counselor

Fatima is currently a senior at California State University East Bay. She is a Human Development Major with a concentration in Early Childhood Development.  When she graduates,  she aspires to teach our future generation of children. She also enjoys arts and crafts with children and the creative process. She loves working for Play Pals and being in an environment with such positive, hard working individuals. Fatima enjoys the constant adventure and excitement that comes with working with children in early childhood and believes that being a part of the earliest stages of development are in part connected with making a positive impact in the lives of each individual child she serves.

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Evelia Alvarado

Camp Counselor

Evelia loves the energy and love that comes from her daily work with children. She truly enjoys creating enriching activities for the children she works with and loves to be a part of their fun. Evelia has three years of experience working with young children in multiple settings and has two daughters of her own. Evelia has several early childhood development units under her belt and looks forward to serving our Play Pals community in a field where she has the constant opportunity to make a difference.

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Elena Figueroa

Camp Counselor

Elena enjoys working with children because it is important to her to make an impact on a child’s life. She also enjoys setting up tasks and activities that are fun and engaging because she finds it crucial for children to enjoy curriculum in order to feel inspired to learn. Elena is majoring in speech pathology and audiology at California State University East Bay and is looking forward to supporting our future generation within her experience at Play Pals. She is excited to continue studying in a field she feels strongly about excelling and expanding her skillset in.

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Alberto Azurdia

Camp Counselor

Alberto has experience working with children of all ages, including but not limited to preschool age groups, 2-4, within group care settings. Alberto enjoys opportunities to engage with children in a creative art activity or simply playing and getting to know the children he is serving. He looks forward to everyday opportunities to inspire our next generation and truly appreciates learning from each and every child he has the privilege of getting to know at Play Pals Fall Camp.

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Margarita Sorokina

Camp Counselor

Margarita graduated from California State University East Bay with a Bachelors in Speech Pathology and Audiology. Margarita majored in this field because she wanted to make an impact on children’s speech and communication skills. Recently she completed her license as a SLPA and will be simultaneously serving the Pediatric Language Therapy Associates team as a Speech Language Pathology Assistant while supporting Play Pals Camp. She enjoys making crafts and being a part of the creative process with children. She is excited to be a part of each child's milestones at PLTA and Play Pals Camp.