Meet our rockstar coach, Melanie! Melanie, or Coach Mel, to her students, is spending her year of service at Chappell Elementary School, a longtime partner of Playworks Illinois. Coach Mel is from the Belmont Cragin neighborhood on the northwest side of Chicago. She studied exercise sport science at Judson University. She has a passion for service, sports and youth. As a Playworks coach, she hopes to make every kid feel loved, valued and cared for. We interviewed Coach Mel to find out more about her experience as a coach.
Coach Name: Coach Mel
The best part of being a coach is . . . the opportunity to build intentional relationships with students and make a positive impact in the school community.
What has been your favorite memory at Playworks Illinois thus far? My favorite memory at Playworks Illinois was a team building event held at the beach during preservice. We were able to spend time together as a team and play a great game of ultimate frisbee.
How do you see our core values of respect, inclusion, healthy play, and healthy community at your school? I see the core values displayed in my school on a daily basis. During all Playworks programming, students are engaged in healthy and inclusive play. They use ro-sham-bo to resolve conflict during recess, say “good job, nice try” to their classmates during class game time and show respect by including everyone in their games.
In 5 years, it would be awesome if Playworks . . . offered a new component: summer camp! During the summer not all students have a safe and healthy place to play; providing a summer camp would create that opportunity and further develop their social and emotional skills.