Playworks New England is happy to present Coach Jonah Williams as the ‘Coach of the Month’ for October! Coach Jonah is a second year Site Coordinator and has been with Playworks since starting as an AmeriCorps Coach in 2017. Coach Jonah is serving currently at the William E. Russell School in Dorchester, the Michael J. Perkins School in South Boston, the Kilmer K-8 School in West Roxbury, and the O’Donnell Elementary School in East Boston.
Since his time as a Coach, Jonah has been an important staple to Playworks programming. This year, Playworks programming looks a bit different as he utilizes platforms like Zoom to engage with students and educators.
“Coach Jonah has stepped up in a big way this year,” remarks Associate Program Director Morgan Redman. “As a Site Coordinator in the virtual learning world, it has been incredibly difficult to balance and navigate the needs of four different schools. However, Coach Jonah has tackled this challenge with enthusiasm and optimism. His energy and positivity are infectious, and I know his school communities feel the same!”
When asked what motivates him, Coach Jonah responded, “When I started at Playworks, I was a Coach and saw the impact Playworks has in a school community. I wanted to spread Playworks’ mission to more students and staff members. It’s been really awesome to spread play and a sense of joy to so many students in Boston.”
As a Site Coordinator, Coach Jonah has found the opportunity to form relationships with students from multiple schools to be the most exciting part. “The number of relationships you get to form as a Site Coordinator is really rewarding.”
Coach Jonah also expanded on some of the obstacles of the upcoming school year and ways his programming will have to adapt. “What is most challenging this year is establishing myself as part of the school community,” he said. “I‘m not physically in any school buildings, so learning about the school culture and getting to know the staff is difficult.”
His programming also varies a bit by school this year. Some schools have Class Game Time (CGT) for each class, while others have virtual recess for each grade level. “A benefit of this virtual setting is it is more flexible and easier to fit in more programming,” Coach Jonah highlights. “In any given week, I am able to work with all my schools.”
Despite the changes in this new virtual climate, Coach Jonah’s spirits are still high. “I am most excited for the Junior Coach program to get started. I want to work with smaller groups of students and find new and exciting ways to engage the Junior Coaches in this virtual setting,” he explains.
Coach Jonah joins many other Playworkers in helping to provide innovative programs to students in the New England area. We’re sending a giant fireworks clap up in celebration of Coach Jonah’s contributions!