Connor Cushman joined the Playworks Utah team in December as a flex program coordinator. As a flex, he divided his time among all of our schools, helped support other coaches’ programs and got to know the entire population of 5,500 students we serve. In February, he was assigned to Meadowbrook Elementary in the Davis School District, where he’s been providing exciting, meaningful and fun recess programming ever since. Read below to hear how our newest coach is enjoying his year of service.
I graduated from college with a degree in psychology. After college, I taught skiing and outdoor education in Maine. Before joining the Playworks this year, I substitute taught and worked in a ski and bike shop.
This job seemed to align perfectly with my desire to work with kids, promote healthier communities, and get involved with a great nonprofit organization. I was immediately drawn to the mission of Playworks: to utilize play to bring the best out in every kid. Being a coach requires you to do so many different things, and it’s exciting everyday. To me that is one of the best part of my role as a Playworks coach.
One of the highlights of my program is gender and age integration. I love to see kids of all genders, ages and skill levels playing big games together at my school. I think it is one of the special aspects of my program. Because it is a smaller school, the recess periods feature mixed grade levels, and it makes me happy to see the older kids playing with the younger kids all of the time.
Transitioning from a flex coach to having my own school has had its own set of new challenges and experiences for me. Before, as a flex, I had the opportunity to learn from all of the other programs that I visited and I am able to implement successful elements into my own school program now. It has also been nice for me to stay in one spot and get to know a single school community much better than I previously would have.
Everyday I am satisfied going to and from work knowing that I am serving my community. I hope that what I do helps my community, even if it is a small contribution. Being an AmeriCorps member makes me feel good about what I do. The knowledge that I am serving and working to strengthen the community is my favorite part of being a member.