Coach Rocco Makes Excellent Happen

  1. Updates

Coach Rocco is a second year AmeriCorps program coordinator at Playworks Metro Boston and is devoted to creating positive change in the Metro Boston community.

This year, Coach Rocco was placed at the John Marshall Elementary School in Dorchester, MA where the Playworks program launched for the first time. With a population of more than  800 students, this is also the first year that all students at the Marshall are participating in outdoor recess! In previous years, staff did not feel comfortable taking so many students out to recess all at the same time.

When he arrived at the school, Coach Rocco set up a recess rotation and now seew every student for recess, every day. When he is not running recess, Rocco is probably running a game time, where he works with every class in the school once every two weeks (that’s more than 15 class game times a week!).

Coach Rocco has brought such a positive change to the Marshall that even the surrounding community is taking notice.

One afternoon, a mother came up to Coach Rocco after his last recess and said, “It’s so nice to see kids playing out here again! It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the kids use the outdoor playground regularly. I’ve seen you out here with them, you’re doing great work.”

When not on the playground, Coach Rocco can be found proudly wearing his Playworks shirt and handing out high-fives throughout his school community.

During the last week of February, Coach Rocco was selected from all 33 Metro Boston program coordinators to travel to Washington D.C. with Metro Boston Executive Director Max Fripp and other members of Playworks cities from across the country. Coach Rocco met with Senator Elizabeth Warren and other elected officials, exposing many of them to the Playworks mission and values for the very first time. He even extended an invitation for Senator Warren to come visit one of our schools and play at recess! Coach Rocco gained tremendous professional experience from this trip, helped further spread the Playworks movement on a national level.

We are sure that the combination of his dedication, playful professionalism and commitment to the greater community will allow Coach Rocco to continue to spread excellence throughout Metro Boston.

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…