Playworks AmeriCorps coaches serve for a school year at a local elementary school providing essential opportunities for children to explore their imaginations, connect with other kids, and stretch and grow. Through service, Playworks AmeriCorps members create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills by organizing games before, during, and after school.
AmeriCorps coaches create safe, healthy, and inclusive playgrounds in urban, low-income elementary schools across the country. Through play, coaches inspire kids to become their best selves and help foster a school environment where students can make the most out of every learning opportunity.
Inspire Youth Leaders
AmeriCorps coaches empower fourth- and fifth-graders to take on leadership roles and improve their school community. Coaches help students work together to learn recess games and practice fair play and conflict resolution. These young leaders then teach these skills to their classmates.
AmeriCorps coaches’ impact doesn’t stop on the playground. Coaches bring students, parents, teachers, and school administrators together by facilitating after-school sports leagues and community engagement activities.
AmeriCorps Coach Benefits
125+ hours of professional development
Segal AmeriCorps Education Award
Career readiness and growth
Semi-monthly living stipend and medical insurance
Network of nearly 1 million AmeriCorps alumni
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AmeriCorps is a national community service program where people commit to serve with an organization. Nationwide, these people, called AmeriCorps members, commit to either a part-time or full-time position. At Playworks, our full-time AmeriCorps members commit to serving a 1,700 hour term of service. This typically coincides with a full school year (about 10 months).
The benefits of joining AmeriCorps include joining an extraordinary movement to change the culture of play in America. You will have the satisfaction of incorporating service into your life by ensuring that kids get a chance to play every day while gaining new perspectives and strong leadership skills.
As a Playworks AmeriCorps coach, you’ll receive benefits to support yourself during your year of service while gaining valuable skills and knowledge that will accelerate your career and education.
Specific benefits include:
Living stipend (paid out semi-monthly)
Possible child care benefits
A $5,815 AmeriCorps Education Award
Student loan forbearance
AmeriCorps gear pack
Leadership training and development
Eligibility for exclusive scholarships to dozens of colleges and universities
During your term of service, all of your qualified student loans may be placed in forbearance. This means you won’t need to make monthly payments while you serve! While loans are in forbearance, they continue to accrue interest; however, once you complete 1,700 hours of service, AmeriCorps will pay for interest accrued on qualified loans that were in forbearance during your term. Members also qualify for the College Cost Reduction & Access Act, a federal loan forgiveness program.
Once you complete 1,700 hours of service, you receive an Education Award (Ed Award) of $5,815. You can use your Ed Award in a number of ways, including repaying loans, studying abroad, or continuing education expenses. Playworks offers a workshop on effective ways to use your Ed Award during the program-year.
Unlike full-time Playworks program coordinator positions, AmeriCorps coaches commit to a year of service in a partner school. A year of service is not your typical nine-to-five job. It is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a school community and make a big impact on kids’ lives. In addition to these intangible benefits, AmeriCorps coaches are eligible for health insurance at no cost to the coach and are awarded a living stipend that is paid out semi-monthly in exchange for their service. AmeriCorps coaches are also eligible for a $5,815 Education Award, upon completion of 1,700 hours of service.
Playworks AmeriCorps coaches are only considered in cities they have applied to work in. Playworks will not direct an AmeriCorps coach’s application to a city that they did not apply to without consulting the coach first. Once an AmeriCorps coach accepts an offer, the regional team will assess each coach’s skillsets and the needs of the school to find a school site that is the best fit. Regional teams will also consider other logistical factors when pairing AmeriCorps coaches to school sites, such as length of commute and access to reliable transportation.
Your impact with Playworks doesn’t have to stop at the playground. We encourage and support team members to step into full-time staff positions that fit their interests and career goals. Over the last two decades, we have numerous examples of AmeriCorps coaches who have worked their way up into leadership positions across the organization—including executive level roles. We actively build and retain talent here and are proud of it!