Meet Jaime Lin, a two-time Playworks New England Coach!
Jaime Lin, 23, of Mission Hill, is a two-time Playworks Coach. She is based at the Eliot K-8 Innovation School in Boston where she works to transform school culture by ensuring that every kid has opportunities for safe, healthy play.
On a daily basis, Lin leads eight recesses organized by grade for approximately 600 K-8 students. She runs safe and inclusive games on the playground, such as four square, capture the cones, and soccer. Additionally, she prepares personalized lesson plans taught during Class Game Time (CGT). During CGT, Lin meets with individual classes on a rotating basis to participate in classroom activities that connect the skills that kids build while playing to their social, emotional, and academic experiences at school, at home, and in the community.
“As Playworks Coaches, we use play to bring out the best in every single student we work with,” says Lin. “But, we do more than that. We not only teach new games and sports. We build skills to make them well-rounded people—teamwork, collaboration, compassion, empathy, and leadership. We help our students not only to excel in academics but beyond school as well, so they can enter society as confident individuals who can make positive impacts in their communities.”
On Thursdays, Lin manages the Playworks Junior Coach Leadership Program at the Eliot School, which gives select fourth- and fifth-grade students the tools they need to navigate through school and through life. Lin prepares Junior Coaches to lead their peers through games during recess. The goal is for Junior Coaches to help classmates engage with one another, develop teamwork and conflict resolution skills, and have fun while cultivating their own self-confidence and leadership skills.
“It is amazing to see the transformation my students go through when participating in the Junior Coach program,” says Lin. “I had one student who at the beginning of the school year didn’t know how to manage his emotions and was very aggressive toward his classmates. Now as a Junior Coach, not only does he possess and practice the tools needed to control his own thoughts and feelings, but he is helping his peers to manage their own conflicts.”
Growing up in Philadelphia and attending American schools abroad, Lin loved playing in volleyball, basketball, and softball leagues. As a child, she was aware of the positive impact sports made on her life and knew other children may not have the same opportunities. She came to Boston to attend Northeastern University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Services. She was introduced to Playworks New England while she was interning at the Hurley K-8 School during her senior year of college. She was so inspired by the program’s impact that she delayed going to graduate school to join the Playworks mission.
Prior to coming to Playworks New England, Lin had no formal education instruction. However, the regional nonprofit provided her with extensive training to learn teaching tactics and various skillsets for different games and activities. Within two weeks of training, she was placed in an elementary school to work alongside teachers and school administrators to implement Playworks programming onsite. She continues to attend weekly trainings for all Playworks coaches to learn new games and to fine-tune teaching tactics and lesson plans. In addition, she works with her colleagues to generate community and family involvement within schools by recruiting and supporting volunteers and facilitating community events.
“I love the relationships I have built through my job. I know my students on a one-on-one basis and greet them with personalized handshakes. I also have strong relationships with members of my Playworks family, who all have such a playful spirit—there is never a dull moment,” says Lin. “Although much of my job is to teach others life skills and lessons, I often find myself learning about myself from the kids and my colleagues. I’m so impressed with my team’s dedication to our schools and the impact we have on our communities as an organization. I couldn’t think of a first better job out of college.”
Lin’s experience as a Playworks Coach has inspired her to pursue a dual master’s degree in social work and play therapy or child development. She intends to earn her degree while continuing to work for Playworks New England.
A Call for Coaches
Currently, Playworks New England is seeking more Playworks AmeriCorps Coaches to serve in elementary schools across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. At Playworks New England, full-time AmeriCorps members commit to serving at least 1,700 hours, which is one full school year, starting in August. The position requires 40+ hours of work per week, with some nights and weekends dedicated to sports leagues and community engagement events.
Join the movement and become a Playworks AmeriCorps member. To learn more information about Playworks New England or to apply to become a Playworks AmeriCorps Coach through the Massachusetts Service Alliance, see Playworks AmeriCorps Coach.
AmeriCorps is a national community service program where people commit to serve with an organization. Nationwide, AmeriCorps members commit to either a part-time or full-time position. At Playworks, a full-time AmeriCorps member commits to serving a 1,700-hour term of service. For more information about AmeriCorps, see AmeriCorps FAQ.
About Massachusetts Service Alliance:
The Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA), established in 1991, is a private, nonprofit organization that serves as the state commission on service and volunteerism. MSA promotes and supports service and volunteerism by investing public and private resources in community-based organizations that rely upon volunteers and people engaged in service to meet their community’s needs. MSA administers the AmeriCorps State program for Massachusetts and the Commonwealth Corps program, as well as support for community service learning, and volunteer generation initiatives.