Coaches Corner: Amber Johnson

  1. Updates

According to Coach Amber, an AmeriCorps member and Playworks program coordinator at The Lee Academy Pilot School in Dorchester, "every day is a story."

Take a couple weeks ago: Coach Amber was teaching her students to play Switch, one of our core games, in Class Game Time (when we spend an hour or so in an individual classroom to teach students and teachers new games and activities). That's when Mrs. Brown, the second grade class's teacher, (who also served in AmeriCorps!) asked her students what kind of angle makes up the Switch court. Instantly, one student yelled out, "Wait, that's a right angle!"

What followed? The whole line of students started cheering and chanting, "Right angles! Right angles! Right angles!"

At this point, Mrs. Brown, who usually mantains her composure during Class Game Time, got so excited that she cheered at the crowd, "Yeah! That's right!" causing her students to cheer even louder!

"As silly as this story sounds, it's a perfect example of how outdoor play can really contribute to learning within the classroom," explains Coach Amber. "This is what Playworks does. An ordinary game of Switch was all it took, and I guarentee that every one of those students will remember what a right angle is. And this will make Mrs. Brown very, very happy."

"Mrs. Brown is excited about Playworks, I'm excited about Playworks, and the only thing my students are more excited about than Playworks is right angles. And that is something worth getting excited about."

More Updates


January 18, 2023

Building skills through play: adult engagement at recess ›

What does adult engagement look like at recess and why is it important? Adults actively engaging on the playground is important because it encourages healthy play at recess. Playworks’ programming recognizes this and highlights the need of providing a kind and consistent adult during the school day for students to connect and build trusting relationships that…

January 10, 2023

Understanding the Complex Simplicities of Play ›

Play is a behavior that is natural and has existed for thousands of years and across species. It combines a set of made-up rules or norms and a willingness to explore. Researchers, scientists, and doctors have studied the effects of play on kids–and adults–and understand that this natural behavior has tremendous benefits. As the American…

December 28, 2022

Looking forward to joy in 2023 ›

Over the last five weeks, we have been exploring the concept of joy. We’ve answered check-in questions on our Instagram based around joy, heard from five Coaches on Facebook about what brings them joy, and found out from students what about recess brings them so much joy. To close out the year, we have been…