A Lasting Impact

  1. Updates

This is my third year as a Playworks AmeriCorps Coach. In my first two years as a coach I worked with over 1,000 students, and this year it will be even more.

Most of the schools I have served have been in the neighborhood where I grew up. My first Playworks school was one that I was quite familiar with. It was a school I ran around as an infant, a place I would go when I was sick—it was my mother’s workplace for 17 years.

The second school I served was a school in the very same district I grew up in. It was a school where I played community basketball. A school some of my best friends went to as a kid. I consider myself blessed to have the opportunity to serve in schools near and dear to my heart, schools that are right down the road from where I live now.

When I think about how a Playworks Coach can impact students’ lives, at first it’s hard for me to think I’ve made a huge difference. After all, I haven’t stayed at a school longer than a year.

But even though I no longer directly serve these schools, I have a lasting tie with many of the students. Over the past few years, I have had many small reunions with my past students, from run-ins at the store to trick-or-treating at my house on Halloween. By far my favorite reunion was with two of my 5th grade students.

It was Senior Night at my old high school’s volleyball game. All community volleyball players from the elementary and middle schools were invited to attend the game for free. That night I took my niece to watch the game.

While there, I ran into Samantha and Gabby. These girls were two of my 5th graders last year. They both played on my co-ed volleyball team, and Samantha was one of my Junior Coaches. These two girls are like the dynamic duo of positivity. They are both amazing students and ridiculously sweet girls.

The reunion I had with them was bittersweet. I was ecstatic to run into them but also sad to have to leave them again. When I went over and said hi, they both jumped out of their seats and gave me a giant hug. We were all smiling uncontrollably as they told me that they now played for their middle school volleyball team, and my heart glowed with pride.

Before we parted ways Samantha made sure to ask me about one of our old Playworks volleyball cheers so she could teach it to her team.

The wonderful thing about being a Playworks AmeriCorps Coach is that no matter how long or how short a coach serves at a school, they not only have an impact on the students, but the students also have a lasting impact on the coach.

 


Interested in becoming a Playworks AmeriCorps member?

Learn more!

 

More Updates


screenshot of video
screenshot of video

February 4, 2022

Believe in Me Foundation Visits with Playworks ›

Julie Wukelic, from the Believe in Me Foundation for Kids, visited with our ED Asia Wisecarver and SC Paige Evans last week. Playworks PacNW was recently rewarded with a $5,000 grant from the foundation. This grant will allow us to continue our work with schools in the Spokane area. We look forward to working with…

August 24, 2021

Playworks Founder Jill Vialet Publishes ‘Why Play Works’ ›

Play brings out the best in every kid. Over the course of 25 years since Jill Vialet founded Playworks, she and her colleagues, as well as researchers and play experts, have demonstrated precisely how and why play works to help kids learn and grow in the most positive and healthy ways. Jill gathered stories from people…

March 25, 2021

Top 6 Games to Play Physically Distant with No Equipment ›

As more and more schools transition back to in-person learning, we know educators are looking for games that are physically-distant and don’t require equipment. The need for play is more important than ever due to the isolation that our kids have endured during COVID-19. Play encourages creativity, flexibility, teamwork, and other critical social skills. We’ve…