“I’m better than you!”

  1. Updates

Of all the great things Playworks has implemented into a school filled with 1200 students; one story, in particular, personifies Playworks’ mission and the reason we are increasing in size every year. At the beginning of the school year, I met a student who was competitive in every possible sport on the school yard.  Darren Long was known as the kid who could jump higher, run faster, and kick the ball harder than any kid at the school. Though I was impressed by his athletic ability, I was shocked that he was so confrontational with most of his classmates. He was so competitive that his performance on the field spilled into the classroom through bragging about what he could do in comparison to other kids.  His comments were “If Mike couldn't stop me out there: no one here can stop me". These kind of comments started arguments and created a "Darren versus everyone else" mentality.

So as a result, I felt Darren would benefit from the Junior Coach program and offered him a Junior Coach position.  Within a couple of weeks, his responsibility as a Junior Coach gave Darren a sense of purpose.  Almost immediately Darren went from someone who wants to beat you, to someone who wants to help you. He started leading games and teaching his fellow students tips and tricks on how to master each game.  Several students listened to Darren since he was already known for his athletic abilities on campus.  He was able to help students improve and build skills. For example, students who couldn't catch a football, now could.  Those who couldn't dribble a basketball were playing full court games. It was amazing to see the “I versus everyone else” mentality melt away and watch him turn into the “teacher” at recess.  Even today, Darren continues to be one of my best Junior Coaches. Thanks to the Junior Coach program, he is no longer arguing with everyone and has become a mentor instead of a competitor. This is only a snap shot of the many great things Playworks provides to every school. 

More Updates

February 3, 2023

Playworks Partners with AEG for a 200 Volunteer Service Day ›

Two hundred volunteers dedicated their time to support kids in their community at Playworks Southern California partner schools to celebrate the 12th Annual AEG Service Day. Each year AEG looks for impactful ways to engage with their local communities, and through our partnership their staff can make school campuses a more colorful place to learn…

Agron Fall Play Day
Agron Fall Play Day

January 13, 2023

Agron, Inc. Play Day at Southern California Partner School ›

On Tuesday, November 15, 2022 agron, inc. employees joined students at Jefferson Elementary in Lennox Unified School District for a Playworks Play Day. Employees and students were ear to ear in smiles as they experienced the power of play together on a sunny, Southern California morning.  Thanks to our continued partnership, many agron, inc. employees…

November 28, 2022

Playworks Southern California Impact Report 2021-2022 ›

Playworks Southern California is pleased to present this impact report highlighting our programs and services during the 2021-22 school year! We are excited to share with you a look back at our accomplishments during the 2021-2022 school year. During the year, we focused on rebuilding after the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic during two school…