Meet AmeriCorps Coach Mel

  1. Updates

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.

 

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…