Making teaching playful

Former coach brings creativity to the classroom

For former Playworks coach turned second-grade teacher Dana Lovecchio, play doesn’t just enhance learning, it’s central to her teaching approach.

“I like to think that everything I need to know about teaching I learned at Sports4Kids and Playworks,” says Lovecchio.

Lovecchio served as a coach for Playworks (then Sports4Kids) from 2002 to 2004 in the San Francisco Bay Area and went on to work to improve Playworks programming as a regional and national program staff member.

Now a teacher in Fremont, CA, Lovecchio uses the group management techniques that she picked up while serving as a Playworks coach. With Playworks’ attention-getters and games, Lovecchio says she can proactively move her students from one learning environment to another. Lovecchio explains that she didn’t learn group management in her teacher training programs, but learned it on the blacktop as a Playworks coach.

Before serving as a coach, Lovecchio had dreams of becoming a professional actress. But, when she led her first recess as a Playworks coach, she realized that she could apply her creativity to make a positive change.

“When I stepped on to the playground and saw the change that you could make just by playing with kids and having fun, while still being really creative, it just opened me up to the ideas of being in the world of education.”

Interested in learning more about how an AmeriCorps coach opportunity can prepare you for a career in education? Sign up for AmeriCorps coach updates>>

More Stories of Play

kids and adults on tv set
kids and adults on tv set

Developing leaders on and off the playground ›

Before Playworks came to Gustavo’s school, he says recess was bland with just three options for how to spend the time. After Playworks came, there were actual games, regulations for games to make them consistent, a lot less harassment of people making fun of other people. “After Playworks, school felt like more of a safe…

empty room with words painted on walls
empty room with words painted on walls

The Difference a Caring Adult Makes in the City of Good Neighbors ›

“Schools are going weeks without hearing from kids. Calling it a tragedy doesn’t do it justice. Even if kids are safe, they’re still lost kids because they aren’t connected,” Tyler Davis, Playworks Site Coordinator in Buffalo, NY, explains about kids in the pandemic who haven’t been attending school virtually. At the end of the pandemic,…

Global Recess Alliance logo
Global Recess Alliance logo

Recess is Necessary ›

Researchers agree: it’s important to prioritize recess in how schools approach re-opening. The research community has come together to establish the Global Recess Alliance in an effort to bring attention to the essential role of recess during school reopening. These scholars, health professionals, and educational leaders agree that recess is critical for children’s physical and…

Stories from the Playground: Coach Hoops ›

It’s not every day that a Playworks #AmeriCorps Coach is honored by the Los Angeles Lakers, complete with a basketball clinic hosted by legendary forward A.C. Green. Then again, being treated to a center court awards ceremony at a Lakers game isn’t something a Playworks Coach experiences every day, either. But it’s her everyday actions…