Either you picked on others and “disrespected” the teachers (while being respected by peers), or you were isolated, while being intimidated by your classmates, worrying if today was the day you were going to be the target of their jokes and mean words. La’Tia was in the middle - sometimes she would engage in the aggressive behaviors of the "cool kids" and other times she kept more to herself.
Coach B involved La’Tia in as many Playworks activities and programming as possible -- leagues, junior coaching, and assisting after school. She was concerned with the direction La’Tia would take once she finished fifth grade, knowing, after she left Davis to go to middle school, she would have to navigate a new environment, making important choices that would be the foundation for her future. It could go either way.
At the 5th grade graduation, Coach B took La’ Tia aside to thank her for all of her help and to wish her luck in middle school. She complimented her on her many positive qualities and reassured her that she had the ability to overcome any obstacles she might come up against.
“Through her tears, she simply gave me a hug and said "ok."
Fast forward one year, when she surprised Coach B with a visit after school one day.
“When La’Tia said, ‘Hey coach,’ I did a double take. She looked the same, but exuded such confidence and maturity, I almost didn’t recognize her. She filled me in: because of the Playworks leagues, she has been trying to play every sport at her middle school. She said she continues to tutor after- school, program, with students her own age! It was great to see La’Tia excited about school and continuing to participate in activities that she was exposed to through Playworks. The lasting influence that Playworks had on La’Tia, I believe made a huge difference in the choices she made and the successes she’s having in middle school.”