November 12, 2018

Playground Aide Turned Recess Hero ›

Sharifa Mohamed has worked as a noon hour aide for the last five years. The same group of enthusiastic aides had been on their school’s playground for years, helping to provide a safe space for kids to laugh, learn, and play. Sharifa had a passion for working with children and approached Playworks eager for more…

November 12, 2018

Perseverance Help Achieve Goals ›

Austin is the smallest kid in his grade. He is sometimes teased by his peers, but he has a determined attitude and is confident he can do anything he if he practices. I encouraged Austin to sign up for the intramural volleyball team I lead as his school’s Playworks Coach. At the first day of…

November 12, 2018

Finding the Confidence to Try Again ›

Chanceline is originally from Africa where she says school looks, sounds, and feels much different than here in the United States. She says that here school is “great because it’s normal and fun, if you get it wrong, you try again.” Chanceline moved to the United States with several brothers and sisters, and loves to…

November 9, 2018

Junior Coaches Lead by Example ›

During my time as a Playworks coach, there were many kids and experiences that touched my life, but none more so than a first grader Elijah. Elijah was new to the school, and at the beginning of the year, was having a difficult time adjusting to the school and making friends. He often spent his…

November 9, 2018

Breaking Down Barriers on the Playground ›

During my first week of recess at Stansbury, I met a little boy named Brian. I noticed Brian immediately because he is the only student in a school of 940 kids who uses a wheelchair Brian spent recess off to the side, alone, watching his classmates play soccer. That first week, I went over and…

November 9, 2018

Challenges of a First Year Teacher ›

Kelly Darchuk, a third grade teacher at the Tobin K-8 School since the 2017-18 school year, talks about her challenges as a first year teacher. During my first year of teaching, I was challenged to deal with a continually changing group of students. It was important to me that the classroom community was strong and…

November 9, 2018

Pennsylvania Legislators Play to Prevent Bullying ›

“A well-rounded childhood is when a child has everything they need to learn and live in a respectful safe way,” Junior Coach Nafis explains to legislators and staffers at the Pennsylvania Capitol today. Junior Coach Nafis shared firsthand experience of how a safe and inclusive playground can still be fun! State and community representatives put…

November 8, 2018

Helping Students Uncover their Leadership Potential ›

When I showed my principal the list of students accepted to our school’s Junior Coach program this year, she gasped. One fifth grade name in particular stood out to her. I didn’t know Lailaney’s story, but it turned out she was the school’s inspiration to partner with Playworks. During her third grade year, the playground…

November 7, 2018

Bringing Out the Kindness from Within ›

When I first arrived at my school as the new Playworks Coach, I found that many students came to school tired and cranky, and were quick to fight, swear, cheat, and lie during recess games. However, there were some students who wanted to cooperate and participate, demonstrating respect, responsibility, inclusivity and healthy play. I needed…