AmeriCorps Member of January: Brendan Mackey

  1. Updates

The AmeriCorps Coach of the Month is an honor we award coaches who have gone above and beyond during their service. Coach Mackey is a first year Corps Member who has jumped in with both feet, building great rapport with his school community and really diving into the "Get things done!" AmeriCorps spirit. His community-focused approach has allowed him to create a really exceptional community engagement project for Meadowbrook Elementary, leveraging those great relationships he has built with his staff and parents. 

What is your background and experience?

Originally from Pennsylvania, I spent my childhood engaged in organized sports. This exposure to teamwork and my own natural ability for leadership has allowed me to motivate and organize the youth into productive and health activity.

What drew you to being a coach with Playworks?

A good friend suggested Playworks to me as a new opportunity to advance my career. The impact that Playworks has on the school environment really motivated me to get involved. The domino effect that a positve, constructive recess has on the rest of the school day is way more important than I had ever thought before.

Can you share a best practice for others on how you have built such an amazing school atmosphere?

Once I learned the students' names, which is no easy task, I was more successful getting them to participate and engage in healthy play. With formal introductions and expectations, a mutual agreement of respect was earned. With earning their respect I was able to ask for favors as well as correct negative behavior.

What's your favorite part about being an AmeriCorps member?

My favorite part about being an AmeriCorps member is the ability to improve the community around me, leaving a mark for generations to benefit from. The outdoor classroom that I am planning on creating for my community engagement initiative has been a major endeavor. I know that once all the sweat and hard work is over that the community will have a place that they can be proud for years to come.

More Updates


June 20, 2024

Games to Play this Summer ›

Summertime is here!  The first few weeks of summer bring fun and excitement and the return of free time and fun, seasonal activities. But as the summer stretches on, it…

May 29, 2024

2024 International Day of Play ›

The United Nations General Assembly has adopted June 11 as the International Day of Play. This global celebration was established to champion and protect children’s right to play. On this…

January 24, 2024

Indoor Recess Transition Plan ›

From snow and cold to rain, smog, and everything in between, weather can throw a wrench in your outdoor recess plans. When inclement weather strikes, transitioning to indoor play can…