Our Playworks staff sat down with our Junior Coach of the Year award winner, Kendall King, on the Hopkins Lloyd Community School playground to learn more about his leadership skills and how he’s transformed throughout his participation in the Playworks Junior Coach Leadership Program.
Name: Kendall King
School: Hopkins Lloyd Community School
Favorite subject: Math
Favorite recess game: Kickball
Future goals: “When I grow up I want to be a basketball player.”
What motivated you to become a Junior Coach?
At first I thought the Junior Coach program was for older kids, but when I found out it involved helping the younger students, I really wanted to be a Junior Coach.
What is your favorite thing about being a Junior Coach?
I really like having fun playing games like kickball, bucketball, and switch with the little kids.
What have you learned about yourself since becoming a Junior Coach?
I have a lot more energy when I am a Junior Coach because it is a lot of fun. All the kids laugh when we play games even if we mess up.
How have you seen Playworks Junior Coaches change the playground/make a difference at your school?
Now that we have Playworks, the little kids and big kids have their own place on the playground to play. When recess starts, Coach yells what games kids can play and then Junior Coaches are at the games waiting to play with the kids. Junior Coaches help resolve conflicts. Sometimes I have to talk to the kids when they are upset to calm them down and get them back in the game.
What advice would you give to a younger student who wants to become a Junior Coach?
You have to be good at playing games and know how to modify movement for the little kids. Like when I play kickball, I don’t kick as hard when I play with the little kids. Or modify basketball by playing bucketball instead. You have to think about safety so no one gets hurt. Also, drink lots of water.
Why do you think Playworks is important?
We have fun with Coach at recess, and when he blows his whistle, we know that recess is over and it is time to transition back to class. Before Playworks, the end of recess was horrible and there was lots of chaos because there were no lines and no cheers. Now we do cheers like the bubblegum cheer before we go back inside. There is also less fighting and cursing at recess now.
What do you like most about your Coach?
He is funny, energetic, playful, and thoughtful.