Cassandra Marshall is a recent college graduate who recently completed a six month internship with Playworks Pacific Northwest. Cassandra supported Playworks both in the office and on the playground by doing research for grants, supporting volunteer recruitment, getting in the game herself and more. (She is seated on the left in the picture above.)
As a recent college graduate, I knew I wanted to be involved in my community and make a difference. I also knew that I loved being around kids and I wanted to learn about non-profits. All of my interests lead me to one place: Playworks! Looking back at the six months I spent interning with Playworks, I have learned so many valuable skills which I know I will use in my professional and personal life for years to come. Here are the main take-aways from my internship I thought I would share:
- Recess makes kids healthier and happier. While doing grant research about how recess impacts school performance in elementary school children, I learned that when kids have consistent access to meaningful, healthy play everyday, they are more likely to come back into the classroom ready to learn.
- Getting others involved is rewarding. One of my favorite aspects of my internship was recruiting volunteers for our schools. The transformation from seeing a new volunteer shyly introduce themselves to children on the playground, and then seeing them only 30 minutes later engaged in a game of basketball and handing out high fives like it was nobody’s business was extremely rewarding.
- Taking a break in the day no matter your age is important. Kids aren’t the only ones who benefit from a break in the day. I noticed that when I was in the office working on a project and I got pulled into a short game of Four Square, I would return to my work feeling refreshed and ready to focus.
- Good behavior influences others. One of the things I learned while working in schools was that when coaches and volunteers acted in a positive way, the kids would follow. The more I saw volunteers and coaches high fiving, the more I saw kids do it too. I quickly learned that anyone can be a good role model and positively impact the behavior of others as well.