This year, from March 12–16, we will celebrate AmeriCorps Week by saluting AmeriCorps Members for their service, thanking community partners, and sharing how #AmeriCorpsWorks with stories from the communities we serve.
Playworks AmeriCorps members have been #GettingThingsDone by making playgrounds safer and more fun for thousands of children across the country. In addition to their hard work in schools every day, our AmeriCorps Coaches have been putting in extra time to plan Community Engagement Initiative events that meet the needs of their schools. Playworks New England is proud to participate in AmeriCorps Week and recognize our group of AmeriCorps Coaches!
Below are each of our AmeriCorps Members’ Community Engagement Initiatives for the 2017-18 school year.
Summer Active Learning Book – a workbook with problems and activities to keep students active over break when they tend to forget concepts they learned throughout the school year. The Learning Book, as well as information on summer camps and activities, will be distributed at the Gardner Pilot Academy Friendship Feast.
“People that hear about Playworks, whether it be parents or friends, mainly hear about the games we play and our time at recess. However, coaches have so much more of an impact on their school, and the CEI project is a great way to show that.”
Playworks Culture Night – An activity night at school to connect Playworks culture with games from the different cultures of families within the school community.
Peace On Earth Night – An anti-bullying workshop event. A local speaker will start off the night, and students and families will rotate through stations focusing on relaxation techniques and bullying prevention.
“I think we need to shed light on the seriousness of bullying and help kids cope with stress to limit violence.”
School Clean Up & Painting Day – Cleaning up the school and the recess yard. The day will include cleaning, painting, and playing games with students and families.
Healthy Lions – A health and wellness event held at school for students and families.
One Mile Fun Run– A walk & race to promote health and wellness within the school community.
Soulful, Purposeful Activity Day – A chance for students to recharge physically and emotionally in order to finish the year strong.
You Got Game? – A night of sports-related competitions between families with prizes, a food drive, and healthy food barbecue.
“Community Engagement Initiatives are important to build a community around school. To make school more of a positive and involved entity in the community rather than just a place where kids get dropped off.”
Earth Day – An afternoon of beautifying the school, planting, and learning about the earth.
“I think that my event will help improve the school environment and raise awareness about living green, reducing waste, and taking care of our environment.”
Mendell Prepares for Earth Day – An event to educate the student body and their families about recycling and the recycling system at school. Students and families will rotate between games, arts and crafts activities, and education sessions focused on recycling.
Healthy Food Extravaganza – A healthy food and gardening project where we plant vegetables in garden beds at the school and talk about healthy and delicious snacks and what makes a nutritious meal. Parents and kids will make snacks together and be able to take home a cookbook with recipes we make. We will make posters to put up at school in the fall about food groups and nutritious meals.
“In order to fully address a public health issue such as childhood obesity and unhealthy foods, education must be done at multiple levels and must engage multiple parties. Parents and students must feel like they both have a part in addressing the issue and understand how they are an important part of our school. Bringing everybody together on a common issue helps to build a community that can expand beyond that issue in the future and creates a support system that will be established for further issues.”
Family Recess – An opportunity for families to learn more about Playworks and learn some games that they can play together at home. This event will have stations set up throughout the recess yard and food for the families in the cafeteria and a raffle to end the event.
“I think any time families engage with the school community outside of the regular day-to-day of the school year, the sense of community at the school is strengthened, especially when it is based around addressing a need in the school community.”
Interested in becoming a Playworks AmeriCorps member?