Playground Aide Turned Recess Hero

Sharifa Mohamed has worked as a noon hour aide for the last five years. The same group of enthusiastic aides had been on their school’s playground for years, helping to provide a safe space for kids to laugh, learn, and play.

Sharifa had a passion for working with children and approached Playworks eager for more resources to make sure every kid experienced a positive recess environment. When her school partnered with Playworks, Sharifa jumped at the opportunity to try on new strategies with their students.

After the first few Playworks trainings with the school’s Recess Team, which included both noon aides and administration, Sharifa felt empowered to revamp their recess. She came to every Recess Team meeting prepared with new ideas for the team to try and stepped up to lead.

Sharifa now runs her school’s Junior Coach program, teaching students valuable leadership skills. She models playfulness and inclusion by jumping into games like Mr. Fox, jump rope, and foursquare whenever she can. She also leads students in cheers and cool downs at the end of recess to help them transition smoothly back to class.

Sharifa is a caring, consistent adult who makes sure every kid feels valued, included, and excited to play. Sharifa is truly a recess hero.


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