Playworks New England is thrilled to announce our Coach of the Month and our Most Valuable Partner – please give a Whoosh clap to Coach Benjamin Lewis and Orchard Gardens!
Coach Ben is a new coach this year as part of the 2020 AmeriCorps cohort. He is a welcome addition to the team and is currently serving the Orchard Gardens school in Roxbury. Orchard Gardens has been a valued Playworks Coach school since 2006.
Coach Ben has risen to the challenge of coaching students through online platforms like Zoom. He is engaging with students in a meaningful way, playing games with his OG students to teach them SEL skills such as listening and gross motor skills. Ben’s game of “Spark” has been a hit with students and teachers alike.
Ben loves to joke around with his students. “Being able to make students laugh and have fun while they are still learning super important SEL skills that they can use for the rest of their lives is something that I feel proud of and passionate about,” he says. And you can certainly tell that the students absolutely love Ben as they are hanging onto his every word.
Orchard Gardens and Playworks New England are both incredibly thankful for Ben and his service. “Ben has been doing an amazing job staying engaged with his school community,” comments Stephon Lilly, a Program Manager at Playworks New England, “Not only is he delivering great virtual programming to the students, he is also involved on a number of planning committees at the OG that are directly working on projects that engage and empower the OG school community”.
The OG is incredibly welcoming to Ben and Playworks as a whole, always willing to step up and commit to serving their students and healthy play.
“Orchard Gardens is the best partner school I could have asked for…The OG has included me on our Color Day Planning Committee and on our Wellness Council. This has truly allowed for me to see the ins and outs of my school and get to start relationship building with other staff. As a new coach this has been super helpful and fun!” says Ben about the partnership. The teamwork between Ben and OG makes them a match made in heaven and we cannot wait to see the work they will accomplish this year in regards to creating safe and healthy play.
We’d love to give a special shout out to Mr. Mulvehill, the Dean Of Students. “Tim Mulvehill has been incredibly helpful every step of the way in this process. It has not been easy trying to figure out all that 2020 has brought, but Mr. Mulvehill has been super helpful and patient with the entire process. A big thanks to Mr. Mulvehill and the entire OG staff who work tirelessly to make sure that OG students get the best learning experiences daily regardless of the situation!”. This year has been a challenging one for everyone and Mr. Mulvehill is certainly rising to the challenge.
In true Playworks fashion, we’d like to send an appreciation clap to both Coach Ben and Orchard Gardens. They are both doing incredible work that we are extremely proud of.