Nathan Lawder loves to be silly with his students at recess. It’s the main reason he was interested in Playworks to begin with. Getting to wake up and play everyday was a no brainer for him.
We’d like to introduce our third Coach in our spotlight series, Nathan Lawder. Nathan’s AmeriCorps journey was a little different than the other coaches. He joined our team later than our other Coaches and after the school year had already started. As one could imagine, this provided some unique challenges and anxiety for Nathan.
“I was nervous coming in late. Getting to know all the other coaches and teachers at my school, I wanted to make sure they knew who I was and why I was there.”
Nathan is serving at Brookview Elementary School, a MSD Warren Township school, this year where he is learning all about Brookview’s number one expectation for students and staff, CORE. CORE stands for civility, order, respect, and excellence. Brookview is very passionate about making sure every student and staff member are exemplifying those values every day at school. Coach Nathan has been really inspired by that.
“I’m getting to know as many kids as possible and they’re all great. Seeing [principal] Dr. Coleman’s passion really trickles down to the students. They really rely on CORE and often lean on the values throughout the school day.”
Coach Nathan loves waking up every morning knowing he gets to go play. It helps him understand why Playworks is so necessary at schools. Before Playworks, Brookview had a typical elementary school recess. Kids would burst out of the doors to a playground scattered with miscellaneous balls and recess equipment but most of the space wasn’t being utilized. Now, Coach Nathan has seen a drastic change in organized game play and playground utilization.
“Before Playworks, recess was just the open space and some balls go play with and a lot of kids just stood around, not knowing how to engage or initiate on their own. This leads to kids doing things that could get them in trouble and feeling lost. Now that has shifted, there are more opportunities for kids to play and less opportunities to get in trouble.”
That is exactly what Playworks is all about! Giving students the opportunity to succeed at play is happening every day at Brookview thanks to Coach Nathan.
Let’s give it up to Brookview Elementary for being recess rockstars and Coach Nathan! Play on!