Meet Coach J

  1. Updates

Coach Clifton Jackson, “Coach J,” is the engine that drives recess powered by Playworks at the Kindezi Academy, formerly Joyce Kilmer IPS #69. Coach J joined the Playworks Indiana team in the fall of 2016 and is making change happen one recess at a time.

Raised in central Indiana, Coach J understands what makes our community move. As a dad, he knows how to motivate, empower, and engage students.

Coach J puts his football experience and history as the “king of kickball” into practice to develop his students’ athletic and kindness skills. Aware of the external factors at work outside of the school walls, Coach J is focused on making sure his recess is always a safe and healthy place to play, every day.

“The kids I serve have so much dark in their lives,” said Coach J. “I just want to be one of the few consistent, bright lights that they see every day.”

Thanks for rocking recess, Coach J!

Favorite Playworks cheer: Oh! A milkshake.

Most rewarding recess moment: I was moved when a student insisted on my return to the school next year. I knew that I was in the right place at the right time. Powered by simple tools, focused on spreading joy and practicing empathy, I was making a contribution.

What does the crystal ball say about your future? My future is bright because I’ve finally found work that’s meaningful, rewarding, and challenging. I love serving these kids and feeling like I’m making a difference in their lives on a daily basis.

More Updates


March 25, 2021

Top 6 Games to Play Physically Distant with No Equipment ›

As more and more schools transition back to in-person learning, we know educators are looking for games that are physically-distant and don’t require equipment. The need for play is more important than ever due to the isolation that our kids have endured during COVID-19. Play encourages creativity, flexibility, teamwork, and other critical social skills. We’ve…

March 12, 2021

Playworks: One Year Later ›

One year ago… All of our partner schools closed their buildings and our work serving kids in schools risked coming to a halt. We knew our mission had to continue. We remained committed to providing opportunities for joy and connection through play for kids in a COVID safe way, regardless if their school was virtual,…

December 15, 2020

Top 6 Games to Play Virtually ›

Many educators have risen to the challenge of transitioning their lessons to accommodate virtual education, and Playworks has been helping educators ensure play remains in every child’s day, even online. Kids prioritize play, and with our support educators are leveraging play when teaching virtually in order to keep kids engaged, active, and to build community.…