As Playworks continues its fourth year in Portland, we’ve been busy optimizing every opportunity during the day for children in low-income schools to create healthier lives and school climates. Through play, our program coordinators (coaches) teach kids (and model) the importance of inclusion and respect and empower them to solve their conflicts in positive ways.
Coach Ruby joined Playworks Portland in 2009, our first year in the Pacific Northwest. She served two years as an AmeriCorps program coordinator with Playworks then transitioned to become a veteran staff member. Playworks program coordinators like Coach Ruby are present and smiling at each of our partner schools every day from 8:30am to 5:30pm. She has played thousands of games with hundreds of students and transformed a school once riddled with behavior issues and bullying into a place of active learning, high fives and rock, paper, scissors. The Junior Coach program is a leadership development opportunity for 4th and 5 graders, (just one of five Playworks program components) that elevates school climate and builds a strong peer community. Coach Ruby recently shared this about one of her students;
“Chloe was a reserved student, but behind her shy exterior was something incredible. She was an outstanding leader, with infectious positivity. I remember during a kickball game Chloe noticed a peer having a terrible time. Like a pro, Chloe consoled him, told him how great he was doing and turned his attitude around. Chloe’s greatest asset as a Junior Coach is her selflessness for others. She is a role model and a catalyst for positive change.”
Coach Ruby, Sitton Elementary School, Portland
Junior Coach Chloe graduated to middle school this year but we know she has learned valuable skills and will continue to inspire those around her and will continue to be an outstanding leader for her community and Ambassador of Play.
Stories like these become reality every day and we are able to expand our services to reach more children in struggling communities. Thank you for being our partner!
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