Coach Molly has no need for an alarm to wake her up, because every morning she is greeted and woken up by her golden retriever, Boone. “It’s the best way to start the day,” she said.
Molly Aumais, aka Coach Molly, was born and raised in Andover, Massachusetts and is a first year Coach at the Robert Frost School in Lawrence, MA. A 2022 graduate of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, her passion for working with youth started long before her time with Playworks.
“I was on the Andover Youth Council when I was in high school,” Coach Molly said. “We used to raise money for the youth center and run programming with young kids. That’s where my desire to work with kids started.”
Every morning, after putting on her iconic Playworks blue t-shirt and drinking a chocolate protein shake for breakfast, Coach Molly drives over to the Frost School to start another day as a Playworks Coach.
“I like to walk into the school building with the kids and go through the parent drop off,” said Coach Molly. “I love starting my day walking in with them.”
After entering the school building, she helps kindergarten students find their classroom amid the bustling school hallways, full of students excited to start their day. Once the first bell rings and all students are where they need to be, Coach Molly goes over to her office space to get herself set up for the day. From preparing Class Game Time lesson plans to collecting Junior Coach applications and permission slips, there’s a lot of prep work that needs to be done before her first recess!
Coach Molly’s recess starts off strong at 9:40am with high-energy fourth graders ready to play! Her recess space, recently repainted by volunteers at Fidelity, is full of different games and activities including four-square, football, and soccer. All Star Knockout and hopscotch have also been recent favorites across all age groups – especially since the hopscotch court looks like a rocketship.
“For the beginning of the school year I’ve mainly been trying to focus on setting the recess expectations,” said Coach Molly. “We review our three recess rules all the time: respect yourself, respect each other, and respect the equipment.”
Similarly, by teaching students how to use butterfly fingers to safely tag, how to line up at the beginning and end of recess, and how to properly use certain equipment, Coach Molly is focusing on reviewing the basics of how to have a safe and healthy recess. It’s clear that the Frost students are already settling into the recess routines, with equipment distribution systems and the “Peace on Earth” end of recess transition happening without a hitch.
After Coach Molly’s morning full of recess, she sets up her space for an afternoon of Class Game Times. Abbreviated to CGTs, Class Game Times are an opportunity for Coach Molly to meet with classes individually and teach new games that will be available at recess, as well as teach key social-emotional skills. For her first few CGTs, she is teaching games that focus on boundaries and personal space, such as Sharks and Minnows and I See, I See, and games that reinforce using positive language, such as Catch and Drop and Switch.
“I definitely see the skills that we’ve talked about already translating out to recess. Especially with Kindergarten, I’ve been hearing a lot of ‘good job, nice try’ when someone gets out in a game,” said Coach Molly. “It’s exciting to see those skills already transforming the way kids are interacting with each other.”
Around 3pm, after a busy day full of Rock Paper Scissors, All Star Knockout, and plenty of high fives, it’s time for Coach Molly to put away her equipment and head back home to her dog, Boone.