Coach Sam Makes Excellent Happen

  1. Updates

Coach Sam is a first year program coordinator at the Neighborhood House Charter School (NHCS) in Dorchester. This is the first year of Playworks programming at the NHCS and Coach Sam is making an incredible difference in the community. 

NHCS became a well-known school with a heartbreaking story after one of their students, Martin, became a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing.  A school that was stricken with grief and social-emotional tension would soon prove to be a school that overcame the odds, rebuilding a healthy community with the help of Coach Sam. In just a few months, Coach Sam has become an invaluable member of the NHCS community, bringing play, fun, and life back into a disheartened environment.

Coach Sam has debuted a “shout out” portion of his Class Game Times, where students and teachers can give appreciations to others in the classroom. Students are beginning to recognize one another for good sporting behavior or lending a helping hand during a game. Coach Sam is also teaching his students how to celebrate successes and express gratitude to one another while playing games. Additionally, on Fridays Coach Sam is taking part of the NHCS school-wide award ceremony where students are acknowledged for their achievements. Coach Sam came up with a wonderful idea to create Playworks awards for his students. Students are given awards for exemplifying the four Playworks core values – Healthy Community, Healthy Play, Respect and Inclusion.

Coach Sam continues to make excellent happen at his school by building a fantastic Junior Coach Program. Over the course of year, Coach Sam has empowered his Junior Coaches and given them the skills to learn, lead and thrive in and out of the classroom. The Junior Coaches at NHCS recently took the initiative to create a Playworks newsletter for the entire school. The newsletter highlights different games, players of the week and any other important Playworks news. The Junior Coaches are writing, editing and publishing this newspaper entirely on their own. Coach Sam is committed to the Playworks Massachusetts movement. With his dedication and great passion for building a healthy community, we are confident Coach Sam will continue to make excellent happen throughout Massachusetts.

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…