Junior Coach Crystal Steps Up and Succeeds

  1. Updates
Junior Coach Crystal
Junior Coach Crystal leading an attention getter for 3rd-grade recess.

Junior Coach Crystal is a 4th grader at the Tobin K–8 School in Roxbury. Although Crystal isn’t the most loud or outgoing Junior Coach at the Tobin, she stands out as a leader by always showing respect, excelling in the classroom, and pushing herself to learn new skills.

At the beginning of the school year, Playworks AmeriCorps Coach Sam reported that “Crystal was very shy and uncomfortable speaking in front of large groups of people.” Sam encouraged Crystal to lead attention getters to quiet down the 3rd graders at recess before they went back inside. She was nervous at first, but Sam has seen Crystal’s confidence grow every day. Now, Crystal can close recess and get students to focus and quiet down all by herself.

According to Coach Sam, “Crystal is the perfect example of someone doing something out of her comfort zone, being vulnerable, and succeeding. She serves as a role model by showing students how to be brave.”

But Junior Coach Crystal doesn’t only excel on the Playground. Every week, Coach Sam continues to get reports from Crystal’s teacher that she is an excellent student and joy to have in the classroom.

We are proud to have Crystal on our Playworks team at the Tobin. We know she will continue to grow as a leader every day and set a positive example for her peers.

Coach Sam and Junior Coach Crystal

Q & A with Junior Coach Crystal

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

My favorite part of being a Junior Coach would be helping out with the kids at recess, like by doing attention getters to get everyone quiet.

Q: What have you learned from Coach Sam at Junior Coach Training?

Coach Sam taught us to use an ‘assertive voice,’ like not being mean but being loud enough for everyone to hear you.

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

I would tell them not to be afraid to talk in front of the kids at recess and to be confident!

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

At indoor recess, four square. But when we’re outside, kickball.

More Updates


January 18, 2023

Building skills through play: adult engagement at recess ›

What does adult engagement look like at recess and why is it important? Adults actively engaging on the playground is important because it encourages healthy play at recess. Playworks’ programming recognizes this and highlights the need of providing a kind and consistent adult during the school day for students to connect and build trusting relationships that…

January 10, 2023

Understanding the Complex Simplicities of Play ›

Play is a behavior that is natural and has existed for thousands of years and across species. It combines a set of made-up rules or norms and a willingness to explore. Researchers, scientists, and doctors have studied the effects of play on kids–and adults–and understand that this natural behavior has tremendous benefits. As the American…

December 28, 2022

Looking forward to joy in 2023 ›

Over the last five weeks, we have been exploring the concept of joy. We’ve answered check-in questions on our Instagram based around joy, heard from five Coaches on Facebook about what brings them joy, and found out from students what about recess brings them so much joy. To close out the year, we have been…