Junior Coach Aina is a strong leader who students look up to at the J.P. Manning School in Jamaica Plain. She can usually be found at recess refereeing a game of foursquare or kickball and ensuring that games run smoothly and everyone is included. When an argument arises, Aina uses a calm tone to solve the problem. Other students at recess have even begun to emulate Aina’s conflict resolution style on the playground.
Junior Coach Aina is a dedicated student as well as a Junior Coach. Whenever she has important work to do in class, she makes sure another Junior Coach takes over her recess shifts.
Playworks Coach Kerry describes Aina as, “a magnet to the younger kids because she always encourages and plays with them.” Junior Coach Aina leads by example and takes pride in her responsibility as a Junior Coach. She knows that it’s important to have fun at recess, but it’s also important to get along and stay safe.
We are proud to have Aina on our Playworks team at the Manning. We know she will continue to make a difference at school every day, demonstrating Playworks’ core values of respect, healthy play, and inclusion.
Q & A with Junior Coach Aina
Q: How does it feel to be selected as the Junior Coach of the Month?
I feel really proud, and I’m happy that people think highly about me. It makes me think that I can do more than what I think I can, and it makes me feel really responsible.
Q: What’s your favorite part about being a Junior Coach?
My favorite part about being a Junior Coach is being with different people, and probably hanging out with Coach Kerry. Maybe hanging out with little kids is my favorite part because I get to teach them and they really look up to me, so it’s fun when they do stuff that I like to do.
Q: What is one thing you’ve learned from Coach Kerry at Junior Coach Training?
One thing I learned is that older kids can be annoying—they don’t always listen. One thing she said was don’t really yell at them because they won’t listen and that will just make them more annoying.
Q: What is a piece of advice you would give to other Junior Coaches who want to be successful?
A piece of advice I would give to Junior Coaches is to just have fun with it, and if people don’t listen or respect you just go talk to an adult about it and that’s it.
Q: What is your favorite game to play at recess?
Probably dodgeball or infection.