Meet our AmeriCorps coaches! Coach Anissa, Coach Reeve, and Coach Kelly share with us the importance of service and what they have learned thus far.
AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 Americans in intensive service each year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. Playworks started our partnership with AmeriCorps in 2004. Since then, we have received over $9 million dollars in funding support and 1,071 members have contributed almost 2 million hours of service.
This year, Playworks Pacific Northwest is proud to have 12 members serving with us at our partner school communities. They are committed to contributing more than 20,000 hours to service during the 2015-2016 school year.
Service is important because it is action oriented. It is all about getting things done and improving the lives of others. An AmeriCorps member will help make their community safer, healthier, and more beautiful. This will raise the well-being of everyone living in the community and may even inspire others to serve.
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
This quote from Charles Dickens is especially poignant when I think of service and what it means to serve others. For me, my time would be quite meaningless if I spent no time working to lighten the burdens of deserving individuals in any way I can with the skill set I possess. This is why I was drawn to the idea of being an AmeriCorps member.
The things I have learned about both myself and the community surrounding my school could fill volumes. Within the short time, I have been working for Playworks in conjunction with my AmeriCorps service I have not only learned that I can, in fact, shoot a free throw, break up a fight, and discuss the intricacies of the Illuminati with a second grader.
The students have shown me far more than I could have ever taught myself. The children at Beach Elementary have taught me the simple yet effective therapeutic qualities of sidewalk chalk, generous friendship and forgiveness, how to laugh so hard I cry, as well as how a simple post-it note from a 5th grader can stop you from crying at the end of the hardest week of your life
For me my time working for Playworks, interacting and forming relationships with the students, staff and community surrounding my school has not been a simple act of service in which I act to serve and make this school better place; but rather it is a reciprocal relationship in which my newfound community work in tandem to lighten the burdens of one and other. For me, that is my ideal definition of service: individuals coming together to better each other’s circumstances, regardless of situation. It has certainly been working for me.
Being an AmeriCorps member means providing a positive environment for everyone at your school, organization or site and promoting opportunities for growth and empowerment through service. By participating in AmeriCorps, I've learned the importance of building community and creating a supportive environment so you and your students and reach their full potential.