Coaches’ blog – stories from the schools

  1. Updates

William T. Machan Elementary School – Coach Paul

Xavier is a fun-loving six grader at Machan Elementary School.  He has great hands on the4-square court and a killer shot in knock-out. Along with his love for playing games at recess, Xavier also is smart.

Each day at recess this past fall, Xavier would come to me asking if he could have a shirt – only the brightest minds recognize how awesome Playworks t-shirts are!

So, one day, I made a deal with Xavier. I spoke with his teacher and found some areas in which he could improve academically and told him if he got a “meets” or “exceeds” on his next math or reading test, then I would get him a Playworks t-shirt.

Sure enough a few weeks later, Xavier – enticed by the prospect of being one of a handful of kids to earn what can only be considered as Playworks gold – dominated his math test just like a game of 4-square. Now every Friday when kids are allowed to dress down, out of their school uniforms, Xavier wears his green Playworks shirt with pride making Xavier deserving of a nice big boom clap… 1, 2, 3 (clap) – BOOM!  

Pan-American Charter School – Coach Latesha

Mark is a wonderful example of how a setting expectations and finding new roles can make a difference to the child and to the school. Mark came to Pan American Charter School with some challenges. He would get annoyed very quickly and had a constant issue with another student.

When junior coach (JC) recruiting came around, Mark asked me if he could be a part of it. I told him that I would have to speak with his teacher first. Before I got a chance to speak with the teacher, I heard from other students why he might not be the best fit for the program.

I sat down, had a one-on-one conversation with Mark, and learned he had transferred from a school where the kids had bullied him and he felt angry. I asked him what made him happy.

“Tell me one thing that you love to do?” I asked.

"Ride my bike, but my tire is messed up and play basketball but I lost my ball,” he responded.

We agreed that if he made an effort to have a better attitude I would give him a basketball. He agreed and I gave him a basketball right away. His face lit up and he said "Thanks Coach!"

The next day I checked in with Mark and I asked him “how is your day going?”  He said "good."

Four months later Mark has played on the Playworks volleyball team and Mark and the other kids together on the yard instead of talk about each other. Mark has asked me everyday this week "Is there a spot on the junior coach team?”

My response is "of course".

Mark is one of the happiest kids I know. I'm very proud of him.

Playworks is a highlight of Pan American Charter School because we create a positive, fun and safe environment to prevent negative behavior. Students understand that they can get exercise through play and also learn other skills such as conflict resolution. Students also understand that having fun has no boundaries Playworks creates a safe space for children to be themselves and they don't have to be judged. High-fives are always a highlight of the day. 

More Updates


May 19, 2022

First Ever Arizona State Capitol Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament! ›

Fun lunch time getaway had by all who joined Playworks for a game of rock, paper, scissors at the Arizona State Capitol on May 16, 2022. “The Grand Canyon State modeled true bipartisan leadership this week thru a lively round of Rock Paper Scissors at the State Capitol,” Playworks Arizona Advisory Board Member Emily Anne…

May 16, 2022

Rock Paper Scissors Tournament at the Arizona State Capitol ›

PRESS RELEASE WHAT: Get ready to play in a Rock Paper Scissors Tournament at a free, live event at the Arizona State Capitol on Monday, May 16th from 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Rose Garden, 1700 W Washington St. Phoenix, AX 85007. When you play in this tournament, you’ll be joining Playworks community members–kids…

March 30, 2022

Thunderbirds Charities Supporting Safe Return to Play in Arizona ›

PRESS RELEASE Thunderbirds Charities announces its support of the relaunch of Playworks’ TeamUp program in Title 1 schools in Arizona and further innovation of the Playworks Pro training programs, professional development programs for adults who work with kids. Together, these organizations will support kids transitioning to schools and recess safely from the COVID-19 pandemic. This…