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


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…