This week, we are celebrating our amazing AmeriCorps members during AmeriCorps Appreciation Week. All of our AmeriCorps members are getting things done on playgrounds across the Bay Area and they all have truly unique and inspiring stories.
Coach Michael is an exemplary AmeriCorps member and a great asset to the Playworks Silicon Valley team. He is dedicated to his program and the school that he serves. Not only does Michael run a great program during the school day, he continues to serve his community by spending his extra time volunteering to support middle school girls basketball.
Work in a school with a diverse population, Michael has truly embodied Playworks’ core values of inclusion and respect. Since he has been at Willow Oaks, he has transformed the culture at recess; kids always give high fives and encourage one another with “good job, nice try!” With his compassion and leadership, Michael has increased positive culture—for which the kids love and respect him.
Here is one story from Coach Michael about how Playworks has made an impact at Willow Oaks:
Since I’ve arrived at Willow Oaks it has been a personal quest to help enforce a more positive culture. I have strived to make sure that kids were using proper conflict resolution tools to solve their problems on the playground.
This story involves a second grader in class one day and was relayed to me by a teacher. The class was having social studies and they were discussing how people in different countries go to war. When asked to describe why the students felt these nations went to war and what could possibly be done to stop this in the future one of the girls raised her hand and replied with this,
“I think they should just ro-sham-bo. When I argued in Foursquare, Coach Michael told me to ro-sham-bo and we were able to keep playing and there were no more problems.”
Ro-sham-bo, also known as rock, paper, scissors, is a tool students use to solve conflicts on the playground. This comment highlights the innocence of a child, but it also makes me feel like I am doing something right that they would remember this and try to apply it in real world situations. Hearing stories like this show that Playworks is changing things more than we can see.
Thank you for all that you do, Michael!
Interested in becoming a Playworks AmeriCorps member?