"It's really nice that we're lending them our coach!" For a lot of today, I was thinking about little Alberto's comment. It was really nice of my kids [at The Dever School in Dorchester] to "lend" their coach [to The Brightwood School in Springfield, MA]… but it was just for a short time. Did having Playworks for one short week make a difference? I'm going to go ahead and say yes. Students were talking about recess and games ALL WEEK. Several administrators told me that they kept hearing stories about games they'd played, excitement over CGT and interest in recess. When I came out to morning recess with my bag of equipment, the kids cheered. After saying goodbye to a 4th grade class, the students asked me what coach was going to be out with them next week. When I told them that no one would be there and that I had to go back to my school in Boston, they told me that I was "theirs" now and that I had to stay. Playworks worked at the Brightwood School. My hope is that enough interest is generated and enough games were learned that the play continues.
Being in Springfield for a week has made me glad to be a part of Playworks, happy to provide opportunities for children's physical and social/emotional well-being, and excited to be part of a school community. It has also made me wish that more schools had Playworks and that more children could benefit from the safe, inclusive play that comes about when there is an adult who is there to supervise, care for, and play with students. I guess doing a mini "Roll Out" gave me a different perspective and helped me see the value in what we do everyday. It can effect change, it can make a difference. It is needed and useful. I am so glad to be part of this with all of you!
A FEW HIGHLIGHTS:
- Having a first grade teacher on the edge of Switch saying "I need to learn this game!" After watching for a few minutes, she jumped in and the students explained how to play.
- A student in the second grade who was suspended right before I came and has been in the office several times was in a CGT this morning with me. We played Switch during CGT and then again at recess. Instead of causing problems, this student was helping referee the game as she played it, prompting students, and in general, helping to make sure the game ran smoothly!
-Coach Katie Ernst, of The Dever School in Dorchester