Our Playworks staff sat down with Junior Coach Celida Anaya on the Allen-Field Elementary playground to learn more about how her participation in the Playworks Junior Coach Leadership Program have transformed her and her playground.
Name: Celida Anaya
School: Allen-Field Elementary, 5th grade
Favorite Subject: Art “…because there is no right or wrong answer. It just has to be beautiful.”
Favorite Recess game: “You can almost always find me in the tag zone. My favorite tag games are freeze tag and blob tag.”
Hobbies: Reading and listening to techno music
Future Goals: “When I grow up I would like to be a jeweler and learn how to cut and polish gems.”
What motivated you to become a Junior Coach?
I saw Junior Coaches at recess when I was younger and thought, “Wow, I want to be like them because they were having so much fun leading the games and smiling a lot.”
From your perspective, how have you seen Playworks Junior Coaches change the playground?
Before Playworks, recess was out of control. We had all the equipment like hula hoops and balls, but they were scattered everywhere and tag was outlawed. Now, with Playworks, I am more excited about recess because we can play tag and lots of other games and I get to help make that possible as a Junior Coach.
Has becoming a Junior Coach helped you overcome any challenges at school?
Being a Junior Coach has helped me overcome my performance anxiety. I used to be really shy, but when I work the tag zone, I have to speak up and use attention-getters, “match me’s”, and call-and-responses to get the little kids’ attention. Now, I feel more confident to speak out loud in class and also at home on the telephone.
What have you learned about yourself since becoming a Junior Coach?
I have learned that if I can overcome performance anxiety at school, I can overcome it anywhere. I still get nervous to speak in front of people, but now I know I can do it!
What advice would you give to a younger student who wants to become a Junior Coach?
I would tell them to keep trying, don’t give up, you’ll get there someday. It might not be today or tomorrow or next week but you’ll get there. It’s important to be a good student, learn how to talk to small crowds, and know how to make up fun games.
Why do you think Playworks is important?
Playworks motivates kids to try new things and it makes everything more fun.
What is your favorite thing about being a Junior Coach?
My job is to play and I get to make sure more kids are having fun because without Junior Coaches it would be complete chaos for Coach Jena and everyone else at school.
What do you like most about your Coach?
I like Coach Jena’s positivity. She shows me how to be more positive everyday!