Playworks Celebrates AmeriCorps Week. Meet Coach Mollie.

  1. Updates

Playworks Illinois is celebrating AmeriCorps week by highlighting one of our AmeriCorps coaches, Mollie Strawn. Coach Mollie is a first year coach. Here is what she had to say about her experiences both as a coach and an AmeriCorps member:  

I was nervous on my first day at school. The Playworks team prepared me with training, but I was being pushed out of the nest. It was my time to fly. I had no idea how the children at Boone Elementary would respond to me, how recess would go, or what games we would play. I knew the kids were familiar with Playworks because we'd been at Boone for three years already, but I was still wracked with nerves, unsure of what my role would be at the school."

During my third recess period, I rounded the corner of the building and saw a group of twenty fourth graders playing dodgeball. They had set up cones to establish boundaries, divided themselves into teams and begun playing all on their own. That's when it hit me: I was a part of something bigger than me. Playworks works. Recess is better, and kids are more active and engaged at Playworks schools. It was because of the hard work of the two coaches that came before me that these fourth graders knew, on the first day of school, how to organize and play a safe, inclusive game at recess. I realized then that I was lucky to have the opportunity to be an AmeriCorps coach and continue the important work of using the power of play to bring out the best in every child at Boone Elementary School.

Coach Mollie is currently serving at Daniel Boone Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois. Mollie received her undergraduate degree in Recreation Management from Appalachian State University and moved to the big city looking for adventures. Prior to joining Playworks as an AmeriCorps coach, she spent a year in the pool teaching kids to swim.

Become a Playworks AmeriCorps Member:

More Updates

three people with Playworks shirts
three people with Playworks shirts

July 28, 2022

A year of social and emotional learning ›

“You can’t do SEL, trauma, or equity work without each other,” Jennette Claassen, Head of Evaluation, Playworks. As Playworks continued to progress on our equity journey, we explored a critical question: what are the intersections between play, social and emotional learning, physical activity, and trauma? A working group focused on this question decided, among other…

June 22, 2022

2022 Kickball Tournament ›

On Saturday, June 11, Playworks Illinois held our 9th Annual Kickball Tournament. The tournament was such a fun first event back after the COVID-19 pandemic. Our teams gave it their all, but ultimately there could be only one Golden Kickball Trophy winner. This year we had 4 teams including West Monroe Partners, Twelve Consulting Group,…

August 24, 2021

Playworks Founder Jill Vialet Publishes ‘Why Play Works’ ›

Play brings out the best in every kid. Over the course of 25 years since Jill Vialet founded Playworks, she and her colleagues, as well as researchers and play experts, have demonstrated precisely how and why play works to help kids learn and grow in the most positive and healthy ways. Jill gathered stories from people…