When the Buffalo Sabres Foundation was looking for ways to virtually engage their young fans after their Kids Club programming was canceled due to COVID, they turned to Playworks. Building off of the Sabres’ interest in introducing ice hockey to more girls, Playworks created the Girls Community Leadership Program.
Dontae Privette, Playworks Community Engagement and Program Specialist, took the ball and ran with it involving our Western New York Site Coordinators, Jasmine Hamlett, Brianna Thomas, and Brittany Bowman, in the planning and implementation process of a three-part workshop series.
The goal was to empower and inspire girls in grades 3 to 6 in the Buffalo and Niagara Falls communities, to learn leadership, social and emotional skills. Working alongside Buffalo Sabres Vice President of Community Relations Rich Jureller, Dontae, and the team took a deep dive into activities that would empower girls. They utilized games that encourage teamwork, listening skills, and critical thinking. The three sessions were conducted virtually, so engagement and fun were top priorities.
Aside from leading the cohort of girls in skill-building games, Playworks’ dynamic staff had meaningful conversations about team building, effective communication, conflict resolution, and learning to be good listeners.
During game time, the participants engaged with one another and were split into smaller groups so they could each lead games while being supervised by the Playworks team.
Coming back to the group, the girls discussed their experiences with one another, giving each other virtual high-fives and whoosh claps.
Special guest Jaquie Greco, a member of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association, joined the fun in the last session. She spoke to the participants about her experience as a woman playing hockey when she was growing up, the opportunities that now exist for the sport, and how to be a team player. It was a wonderful addition to the fun and leadership-building workshop!