Junior Coach Ruthy Makes Excellent Happen

  1. Updates

During recess, you’re likely to find fourth-grade Junior Coach Ruthy leading games for large groups of students, making sure everyone is having fun and staying safe, and acting as a role model for her peers.

According to Playworks Coach Jonah, who works with Junior Coach Ruthy at John F. Kennedy Elementary School (JFK), Ruthy has fully embraced her Junior Coach leadership role.

“During Junior Coach trainings, we’ve talked about using game facilitation techniques to help kids feel included in the games. Ruthy helps kids have fun and feel included by giving clear instructions and using ‘attention getters’ so kids stay engaged in the games,” says Coach Jonah. “Ruthy is a great role model; she includes others and is respectful while also having fun.”

We are proud to have Ruthy on our Playworks team at JFK. We know she will continue to make excellent happen at school every day, demonstrating Playworks’ core values of respect, healthy play, and inclusion.

Coach Jonah and Junior Coach Ruthy at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Jamaica Plain.

Q & A with Junior Coach Ruthy

Q: How does it feel to be selected as the Junior Coach of the Month for Playworks New England?

It’s very exciting because you feel proud of yourself about being a Junior Coach and you feel like you’re successful and accomplished something you can be proud of. And, you’re teaching other kids how to improve and be more careful at recess.

Q: What’s your favorite part about being a Junior Coach?

My favorite part about being a Junior Coach is making new friends in different grades and teaching them about recess so they can understand that it’s not just about playing and that you have to be safe too.

Q: What is one thing you’ve learned from Coach Jonah at Junior Coach Training?

I’ve learned quite a few things! First of all, I’ve learned how to get the kids’ attention like with clapping or attention getters like “crocodile crocodile . . . chomp chomp!” Also, this week we went outside and practiced how to explain the rules of a football game. We learned not to be too rough on the other kids . . . and we also learned a few other games we can play at recess!

Q: What is a piece of advice you would give to other Junior Coaches across New England who want to be successful?

Well, you should get the kids together and keep them in one group so you can get their attention. Another piece of advice I’d give is to be nice to the kids so they understand that Junior Coaches are there to help the community.

Q: What is your favorite game to play at recess?

I like playing football—the game where you throw the ball and someone catches it and brings it back and someone else has to tag them before they get back. I think that’s one of my favorites. But I also like soccer, foursquare, and hula hoop tag—where you have to kick the hula hoop and tag someone. But, you kick it softly because you don’t want to hurt anyone, and it stays on the ground and only hits their feet so no one can get hurt.

More Updates


November 16, 2022

Meet Renee, our new Executive Director! ›

Born and raised in Watertown, Massachusetts, Renee Gaudette has worked for youth development organizations in New England since graduating college and now joins us as New England’s new Executive Director. Her favorite recess game is 4-square (“I get really competitive… I can’t help it,” she admits), and she has a dog named California Sunshine Epps…

November 15, 2022

Building skills through play: developing youth leaders on the playground ›

What does youth empowerment look like at recess and why is it important? Every kid deserves the opportunity to shine. The playground is the perfect place to empower students and build their confidence by giving them opportunities to lead, whether it be with their own classmates or students in younger grades. Play is such a…

November 4, 2022

Meet Erica, our new Program Director! ›

This fall, Playworks New England hired a new Program Director: Erica Sandelin! Erica joined the team with a plethora of experience, new ideas, and passion for the Playworks mission. Learn more about Erica through an interview with a fellow Playworker, Leah: Leah: Where did you work before you came to Playworks? Erica: My background is…