Playworks Minnesota is proud to have ten AmeriCorps members serving with us for the 2014-15 school year. Our PlayCorps members, as we like to call them, have been bringing the power of play to schools throughout the Twin Cities since September, and have had the opportunity to serve our greater community through projects on three National Days of Service.
September 12, 2014 marked the 20th anniversary of getting things done with AmeriCorps. The Playworks office staff and PlayCorps team joined nearly 1,300 members, alums, and supporters at the "Mall of AmeriCorps" to celebrate. While waiting for the presidential live stream, the PlayCorps coaches lead the entire gathering in an epic game of chi master and got everybody dancing to the Electric Slide. We even ran into some of our own AmeriCorps and office staff alums—once a Playworks coach, always a Playworks coach. The event was rounded out by participation in a Day of Remembrance service project with Dogs of a Good Society. Our group spent the afternoon creating toys for local animal rescue organizations. fter all, dogs deserve a chance to play too!
In October, our PlayCorps members along with Program Director Abigail Taitano and Program Associate Abs MacLaren gathered at the North Mississippi River park with volunteers from KARE-11 and the community to help maintain and improve the natural habitat along the river as a part of our Make a Difference Day event. We helped collect native prairie seeds, removed invasive buckthorn, and even tried our hands at building pollinators to give bees snug winter homes.
January 19 was our third National Day of Service, MLK Day. The PlayCorps team, along with Program Managers Todd Wallace and Khary Jackson, headed out to Second Harvest Heartland food bank to help sort and pack more than 2,000 lbs of macaroni. That's a lot of pasta!