Playworks Coach of the Month: Shelby Obert

  1. Updates

We are excited to announce Shelby Obert as February’s Coach of the Month!

Coach Shelby is a second year AmeriCorps member currently serving at the Henry Grew School in Hyde Park, MA. While this year certainly looks different, Coach Shelby has consistently been able to leverage the relationships she built in person last year to continue engaging with kids in a virtual setting. 

“From the perspective of a teacher, I have always appreciated the work that Playworks coaches have contributed to our school community at the Grew,” says Mr. Wilburn, 3rd grade teacher at the Grew. “The structured games provided at recess, as well as the targeted activities for individual classes have supported students in feeling more confident in themselves and developing stronger relationships with their peers.”

In the era of remote learning, relationships are more important than ever in ensuring kids feel safe and supported in their school community. Mr. Wilburn continued:

“I’m so thankful that this impact can still be realized in the virtual learning context. Coach Shelby has worked to facilitate games and activities that are engaging and accessible to all students, and it truly makes a difference at a time when school continues to feel unsettling for many.  

I try to intentionally build community with my students throughout the week, and Class Game Time with Coach Shelby is an important part of that process.  For some students, Class Game Time is when I see their highest rate of participation. The activities provide leadership opportunities, choice, challenge, and spaces for reflection.

 During breaks throughout the day, my students often ask to play a game that we tried in Class Games Time, and so it’s been helpful to integrate these activities into our day even when we aren’t with Coach Shelby.  As for me, I enjoy the opportunity to engage in these activities with my students as a participant, and not just a facilitator. Class Game Time is definitely a highlight of my week, and many of my students!”

Please join us in giving a well-deserved whoosh clap to Coach Shelby – thank you for your hard work, dedication, and sense of humor!

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…