All year long, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) associates have been volunteering at King K-8 School in Dorchester. These volunteers jump in the game during recess. They lead jump rope and dance stations, play games like football and “Fishy, Fishy, Cross My Ocean,” and serve as positive role models for our students.
Hannah, Playworks Coach at King K-8, loves having extra adults at recess to run games and lead stations.
“Because of the volunteers’ high energy and efficiency running games,” she says, “I can offer more activities for the kids at recess.”
But Coach Hannah isn’t the only one who loves having volunteers at recess. The students also enjoy having new faces around the recess yard. King K-8 students are excited to teach their favorite games to new people. Coach Hannah explains that volunteers’ engagement opens up new opportunities for leadership development. Students are excited and proud to show of their game- playing skills.
It doesn’t stop there! BCBSMA associates based in Quincy also serve as corporate coaches for Playworks Junior Coaches at King K-8 School. Three times during this school year, Playworks Junior Coaches (fourth- and fifth-grader leaders) take a field trip to the Blue Cross Blue Shield offices for Junior Coach Training. BCBSMA corporate coaches facilitate activities that teach Junior Coaches lessons on leadership and collaboration.
So far, the students have attended one Corporate Coach Training at BCBSMA headquarters in Quincy.
Coach Hannah reports that Junior Coaches are really engaged in their Corporate Coach Training. “They talk about the field trip every time we meet for training,” she says. “They loved going outside their community to learn and play with their corporate coach mentors.”
Playworks’ partnership between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts benefits from our shared goals of positive youth development and healthy living. According to BCBSMA Senior Specialist of Corporate Citizenship Pauline Murnin, “Playworks’ mission to help kids stay active and to build strong relationships through play fits perfectly into our company strategy and focus areas.”
Nicole Pizzi, wellness consultant at BCBSMA sees “a significant opportunity to teach kids the value of movement, teamwork, communication, and positive reinforcement through the idea of play,” through her involvement with Playworks.
One volunteer, Kim Carrington, has been involved with Playworks since 2012. Kim volunteers at King School during recess and as a corporate coach mentor. Over the years, Kim has enjoyed teaching students how to resolve conflicts and that “it’s OK to fail or make mistakes.”
You can often find Kim spinning the jump rope at recess or starting a dance station. According to Kim, one of the best parts about volunteering with Playworks is learning how to do the latest dances.
Playworks is grateful for our continued partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and for the time their associates have put in to create a positive school community for our students.
And our coaches and staff agree!
“I am so grateful for their hard work and dedication to King,” says Coach Hannah. “The kids love seeing new faces and their kind energy and mentorship is so helpful for their growth and development!”