Coach Lesley Makes Excellent Happen

  1. Updates
From left: Jon Gay (New England Executive Director), Coach Lesley (November Coach of the Month), Jennette Claassen (National Director of Evaluation), Junior Coach Leo, Junior Coach Sam, Elizabeth Cushing (Playworks President)

Coach Lesley is a second-year Playworks Coach at the Winship Elementary School in Brighton. This year, she is leveraging the relationships she’s built with students and staff to foster a playful and inclusive school community where social and emotional learning happens during every part of the school day. Coach Lesley brings flexibility and a positive attitude and to her work, always seeking new ways to improve her programming, collaborate with school administrators, and support her lunch and recess staff.

Junior Coaches at Coach Lesley’s school are quickly emerging as strong leaders in the school community and beyond! Coach Lesley uses innovative strategies to integrate Junior Coaches’ parents and teachers into the program, ensuring that lessons taught during Junior Coach training are incorporated into the entire day—both during and outside of school. In the month of October, Coach Lesley’s Junior Coaches represented Playworks and Winship Elementary at the Youth Philanthropy Summit at Tufts University, teaching and facilitating Playworks games with participants.

Coach Lesley is an exemplary Playworks employee and a committed positive role model for her students. Lesley’s reliability and consistency set her apart as a coach, but her kindness, creativity, and tireless work ethic cultivate a community of trust and respect at her school. Her students feel empowered and supported. Without exception, she does what it takes every day to run an amazing Playworks program at her school. We are confident that Coach Lesley will continue to make excellent happen at the Winship and beyond for the remainder of the school year.

More Updates


August 18, 2022

Planning your back to school playground ›

We’re in the late days of summer and the “Back to School” signs and supplies are popping up everywhere! Students and teachers are getting ready to head back to the classroom, and back to recess. Check out these suggestions to prepare your playground for another awesome year full of growth, fun, and play. Mapping your…

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…