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


August 1, 2022

2021-22 Year End Report ›

After two years of isolation and adapted schooling, our students and staff spent a full year together in school buildings. We continued innovating to meet the needs of students, schools, and partners. Our return to in-person events was filled with joy, and throughout it all, bringing the healing power of play to students across New…

three people with Playworks shirts
three people with Playworks shirts

July 28, 2022

A year of social and emotional learning ›

“You can’t do SEL, trauma, or equity work without each other,” Jennette Claassen, Head of Evaluation, Playworks. As Playworks continued to progress on our equity journey, we explored a critical question: what are the intersections between play, social and emotional learning, physical activity, and trauma? A working group focused on this question decided, among other…

parent playing with kids outside
parent playing with kids outside

July 21, 2022

Games to play at home this summer ›

Are you looking for games to play at home using only things found around your house? Look no further! In case you haven’t heard – school’s out for summer! With long stretches of hot days still to come, you might be looking forward to playing some new games with your family or people in your…