Playworks Massachusetts Teacher of the Month, Coach Dick

  1. Updates

Coach Dick Johnstin is a rock star Recess Coach at the West Somerville Neighborhood School in Somerville. This is the first year the school has partnered with Playworks and as soon as the opportunity arose, Coach Dick was more than happy to volunteer as the Recess Coach for the Playworks Team Up program. Coach Dick is enthusiastic about his role and makes sure that students have all the equipment they need to have a fun and inclusive recess. He is more than willing to listen to the Playworks Site Coordinator at the school and proudly implements any advice he is given. Previously the transition from lunch to recess at the school was hectic and loud, however Coach Dick now uses attention getters to make announcements in the cafeteria about what games will be set up at recess.

The Junior Coach program at his school has taken off and the students enjoy being selected as students leaders in the school. Coach Dick even has become a mentor to the cadre of 4th & 5th Grade Junior Coaches. He tracks their attendance, gives them advice about how to be patient and enthusiastic with younger students, and even helps coach them while they are out working. Coach Dick can be seen giving out high fives, greeting students as they enter the cafeteria for lunch, and he even jumps in and plays Banana Tag or Super Star Basketball out at recess! With his playful personality and dedication to mentoring at the West Somerville Neighborhood School, Coach Dick helps energize education for all.

More Updates


August 1, 2022

2021-22 Year End Report ›

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parent playing with kids outside
parent playing with kids outside

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coach writing letter
coach writing letter

June 22, 2022

Playworks AmeriCorps Coaches’ end of year reflections ›

Being an AmeriCorps Coach at Playworks is no small feat. Throughout the year, you are asked to complete 1,700 hours of service. Weekend service projects are common, you recruit and coach students for a basketball extravaganza, and you’re encouraged to spend a lot of time reflecting on why you chose to do a year of…