Meet Coach Veronica

  1. Updates

“I use my service as a way to connect with children and let them know I am on their side.”

I chose to become a Playworks Coach and an AmeriCorps Member because I wanted to make a difference. Every morning when I wake up, I am excited and eager because I know I can help a child and build their confidence. Even if some days I am tired, the kids around me instantly brighten my day. At 7:45 a.m., students will run up to me, hug me, and give me high fives. They make me want to be a better coach.

At the beginning of the year, I had a first grader, whom we’ll call Jaiden, who would always yell and scream at the end of recess when I blew the whistle. He would run away from me with the soccer ball, and sometimes he even took off his shoes and tried to throw them at me. He loved recess, but transitioning back to class was hard.

I wanted to make the end of recess more enjoyable for both of us, so I built rapport with Jaiden by getting in the game. At recess, I started to split up the kids who wanted to play soccer into teams and then run around and play with them. As he began to get used to me playing, Jaiden would run up to me and ask me to split up teams and play with them all the time. Then, when I blew the whistle at the end of recess, he would grab the soccer ball and give it to me and then line up.

Jaiden went from a student with behavioral issues who would lash out to a student who I could rely on to come to me if he needed help. Now, he also helps me organize and clean up at the end of recess. All it took was a willingness to play! Jaiden is just one example of the students I interact with every day. Through my year of service, I am proud to make a lasting difference and make recess more fun for everyone.

Interested in becoming a Playworks AmeriCorps member? Learn more!


More Updates

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…

March 12, 2021

Playworks: One Year Later ›

One year ago… All of our partner schools closed their buildings and our work serving kids in schools risked coming to a halt. We knew our mission had to continue. We remained committed to providing opportunities for joy and connection through play for kids in a COVID safe way, regardless if their school was virtual,…