Playworks

To improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play. We improve school climates, rescue recess and help regain lost teaching time.
Aug 22, 2016

The Results Are In!

Junior Coach Leadership Program 2015-2016 Report-Pacific Northwest

The Junior Coach Leadership Program promotes leadership development by teaching students to model positive encouragement, work together as a team to lead games, and apply conflict resolution strategies on the playground and in the classroom.

  • Average # Hours Junior Coaches Spent in Training 57%
  • Average Attendance Rate 89%
  • Average # of Junior Coaches per school 14

Junior Coach Skill Development

Teachers who have Junior Coaches in their classroom and Playworks Program Coordinators assess the skills of individual Junior Coaches at entry and exit of the program. Teachers and Program Coordinators saw improvements in their Junior Coaches in the following areas:

Teachers: In the Classroom Report              Program Coordinators: On the Playground

                        97%                        Leadership                                   84%

                        83%                       Teamwork                                     87%

                        87%                   Resolving Conflict                             87%

 

"Playworks has a huge impact on our school culture and environment! The Junior Coach program has been a great way for my students to see other students as role models and aspire to become them one day. I think it has also encouraged physical activity, fun and teamwork across all grade-levels."K-2 Teacher

This year we have expanded the number of schools and students that we serve in the greater Portland Metro area to 36 schools and more than 16,500 students! We couldn't have grown without your continued support of our programming. Thank you!

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*Skill Development Data represents all Junior Coaches in our Coach schools meeting the minimum dosage requirements (20 training hours and 90 days) with a complete baseline and end point assessment.

Jun 24, 2016

It's Not All About Winning-As a Junior Coach, Jacob learned to play for the sake of play

Jacob likes to play, and he likes to win. In elementary school, he recalls, “We would spend a lot of time playing soccer, and I always wanted to win. I was really competitive.”

“I always thought the Junior Coaches were really cool, because they were always the people organizing sports and games at lunch,” says Jacob. When he became a Playworks Junior Coach, it was a big win.

But being a Junior Coach was difficult. Sometimes people wouldn’t listen to Jacob because they were the same age. They didn’t always pay attention when he tried to explain the rules.

“I would always get mad when someone didn’t follow the rules of the sport. I noticed that even if the main goal of games was having fun, I always wanted to win.” Jacob remembers.

To support other students, Jacob had to learn to let go. “Junior Coaching taught me that it’s not all about winning; it’s about having fun. I liked being able to organize the activities and help kids learn new sports and games that maybe they’d never played before.”

In many Playworks games there are no winners and losers, and if people get out, it is easy to get back in the game. This way, kids can keep playing all recess long. Jacob learned to appreciate playing for the sake of playing:

“My favorite game was a game called Infected, like tag, but where everyone who got tagged could start tagging people. We played in large groups that got together on the field as soon as recess started, so we could play and run for a really long time.”

Now, Jacob is in high school. He is still ambitious and he still likes to win, but his love of play for the sake of play makes him a stronger leader. As a ski coach, his Junior Coach experience pays off.

“I understand now how to work with the little kids,” he says. “Because I was a Junior Coach, I know how to be patient.”

May 26, 2016

How Junior Coach Julia Found Her Voice

Julia as a Junior Coach
Julia as a Junior Coach

When Julia transferred to Adelante Spanish Immersion School in Redwood City halfway through second grade, most of the kids had been together since kindergarten. “I didn’t have a ton of friends,” says Julia, “and it was hard adjusting. I wasn’t a super social kid—I was kind of a nerd—and it was a challenge for me to break out of my shell.”

Becoming a Junior Coach helped Julia find her voice. “Before being a Junior Coach, I had been really quiet in school,” she recalls. “Being a Junior Coach helped me be more extroverted. It made me more comfortable with who I was.”  

By high school, Julia was a self-described, “very loud person.” In fact, “My friends in high school called me Loudy. I have a loud voice that carries really well.” As team captain of her high school water polo team, being loud was key: “It is just necessary so your team can hear you. I had to yell a lot!”

For Julia however, finding her voice meant more than just learning to use her lungs. In elementary school, “I was a little bossy, and not the most popular kid,” Julia recalls. “Playworks helped me with a lot of social interaction stuff. Junior Coaches would lead games together, especially big games or games we knew would be super popular. We had to collaborate.”

“Being a junior coach was my first real opportunity to be a leader outside of schoolwork,” Julia says. “It was up to us to schedule what games we wanted to play, to figure out who would work together, and to get together the equipment.”

The teamwork and leadership skills Julia learned as a Junior Coach, even more than her loud voice, made her successful as a water polo team captain. They also prepared her for her future career.

“The younger kids really look to you and see you as a role model,” says Julia, who is now a first year student at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. “I really enjoy working with kids, and that started when I was a Junior Coach.”

Julia continued working with kids and growing as a leader as a camp counselor. Now, she is studying History with a triple minor in Education Studies, Math, and Sociology/Anthropology, and plans to become a history teacher.

“I still have my Junior Coach shirt in my drawer, and my friends and I still talked about it during high school,” she says. “It really sticks with you!”

Julia as a Community Leader
Julia as a Community Leader

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