Bring Play To Your City
Playworks is a national nonprofit that provides safe, healthy playtime at low-income schools to create a positive environment for teaching and learning. Our highly trained Program Coordinators (PCs) aka “Coaches” are on the playground full-time to introduce games designed to build leadership, self-esteem and foster teamwork. As a result, kids return to class focused and ready to learn and teachers can use all class time for teaching instead of resolving conflicts from the playground. Our after-school programs and sports leagues continue to reinforce the valuable lessons learned throughout the school day. Our strategy for protecting recess and making play a part of every day; improves the entire school climate and has transformed 300 schools across the country.
We are looking for dynamic individuals who are naturally motivated and possess clear and open communication skills. You should be humorous and playful with an ability to set clear goals and follow through. You are patient, flexible and enjoy working with elementary school age children. You are comfortable working in a leadership role, possess creative problem solving tools and able to accept direction from our Coaches. As a Playworks Ambassador, you will mirror our core values of respect, inclusion, healthy play, and healthy community and have an opportunity to be a part of this important growing movement across the Nation.
Volunteer opportunities are available throughout Chicago. Interested volunteers must complete a 1.5-2 hour training to be eligible for this opportunity. All volunteers must pass the Chicago Public Schools screening requirements, background check and National Sex Offender Check.
Recess Program Support
Duties: Assist in creating a safe and inclusive playground yard and be a significant presence on the yard by organizing and playing games with 20+ students. Encourage safe, healthy play and positive conflict resolution through role modeling and active participation. Volunteers may also support PCs in setup or break-down of recess equipment of other needs relative to PCs and their schools needs.
Details: Must love to play games and lead activities with kids and have the ability to model positive behavior. Actively engage a diverse range of students in respectful and inclusive healthy play. Demonstrate ability to build rapport, trust and respect with students.
Day/Hour: Varies upon school site but typically M-F between the hours of 11:00am -1:00pm
Commitment: We ask for a minimum 2 hours per week for 3 months.
Developmental Sports League Support
Duties: Refereeing at Short games. Referees can create a fun, supportive environment for developing players by officiating, explaining rules, and enthusiastically promoting non-competitive play.
Assistant Coaching a team. Assistant coaches will work with PCs (Coaches) to run practices and coach games, all the while building skills, positive attitudes, and enforcing teamwork. Be advised that for this experience to be meaningful for both volunteers, PCs and players, assistant coaches should commit to all league events (practices and games) for the entire 7-week season.
Extravaganzas and Jamborees are one-day special events that enhance leagues. Volunteers can help PCs and other staff members implement and ensure the success of these sports-and-games centered field days for students and families by running games, providing refreshments, organizing other activities, manning stations and booths, refereeing, cheering, and coaching.
Details: This position requires the ability to work sensitively with parents and children. Must possess strong interpersonal and good problem solving skills. Must love to play games and lead activities with kids and have the ability to model positive behavior. Actively engage a diverse range of students in respectful and inclusive healthy play.
Day/Hour: Varied T, W, 5:00pm-8:00pm Games, plus organization time during the week.
Commitment: We ask for a minimum of 3-6 hours per week for 10 weeks (each season) plus an occasional weekend day.
"The Pinch Hitter"
Additional Program Support
Duties: Participating in various school/community outreach projects, fairs and fundraising events…
Details: Varied depending on project or opportunity. This position is best for those who are unable to commit to volunteering a regular schedule throughout the week but would like to support Playworks at a more flexible pace.
Commitment: Flexible and/or on-call
- See above mentioned descriptions.
- See above mentioned descriptions.
As an equal opportunity program, Playworks encourages applications from all individuals regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, or physical ability, and evaluates all candidates on a merit basis.
Kim Lombardi, program associate