Junior Coach Lai-Lani Makes Excellent Happen

  1. Updates

Junior Coach Lai-Lani is a fourth grader at the Trotter Elementary School in Dorchester with Playworks Coach TK. She is an incredible student leader who is excited to leverage her Junior Coach role into making positive change both in and out of the classroom. Lai-Lani is always ready to try new things, and has a great talent to make wise, considerate decisions whenever a conflict may arise among her peers. Junior Coach Lai-Lani loves wearing her Junior Coach t-shirt and serving as a a role model in her school. She comes to all of her recess shifts, checks in and exceeds all expectations of her job. Lai-Lani continues to make excellence happen at the Trotter Elementary School by always being concerned with the well-being of others.

During the month of November, Junior Coach Lai-Lani decided to make excellence happen by choosing to lead the football game at the fourth grade recess. As she walked over to the game one day, she noticed a lot of students swearing and not playing fairly. Lai-Lani knew this was not the best way to play a game and decided to use the skills Coach TK had taught her to transform the game into a friendly, playful football game. That night she decided that she was going to make an incentive system for the week to see if she could encourage safe, inclusive, and healthy play during the football game. She brought in her own Halloween candy from home and told the students playing football if they played fairly and demonstrated positive sporting behavior they would be given a piece of candy. She used this incentive system for three whole days and each day would proudly report back to Coach TK on the progress that was made. Junior Coach Lai-Lani helped transform the football game into a time where students are including everyone and giving each other high-fives. We are sure that Junior Coach Lai-Lani's incredible leadership skills and amazing sense of empathy will set her up for success during her middle school career and beyond.

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…