Playground Story of the Week

A positive playground story from Coach Blake

Playworks’ Junior Coach program allows students to help our coaches facilitate recess, and more importantly has the power to teach these students valuable, wide-ranging skills along the way. The following story exemplifies how the power of the Junior Coach program significantly improved one student’s attitude and focus on responsibilities.


          A student who I will call John is a 3rd grader new to the school and a year older than most of his classmates. In the beginning of the school year, I was able to have him out at recess with me or in charge of the equipment. He was labeled as the “bad kid” and in the “bad class” by some of the students, and unfortunately, his poor behavior in class was resolved by having him skip recess. His teacher, the school’s resource team, and I have been collaborating on what we could do to maximize his time with positivity. John does very well whenever he is with me, so I thought it would good to make him a Junior Coach. However, Junior Coaches are traditionally for 4th and 5th graders only, so I created “Freshman Coaches” as an opportunity for 3rd graders to contribute to their school through leadership.

          They are allowed to “work” before school recess if they are exhibiting good leadership skills. I saw this as a great opportunity for John. I talked to him and his teacher about the conditions to which he can participate and how excited I was to have him join. He has been with me for 2 days and I can already see an improvement in his choices and attitude. John thrives when he has responsibilities and tasks to complete. According to one of his resource teachers, John comes to her after recess excited and proud of being a Freshman Coach. I am so happy that he enjoys being a Freshman Coach, and that it is positively impacting him. I can not wait to see how he grows the rest of the year.

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Playground Story of the Week

A positive playground story from Coach Ryan

Playworks has the power to bring out the best in every kid! Playworks coaches work hard to establish positive school environments, as fun and safe play can positively impact each student’s development. The following story highlights one of our coach’s most memorable and rewarding experience.


          Being a Playworks coach is one of the most fun and exciting jobs a person could have. The only issue a coach might experience is only being able to be in one place at a time. Kids want and need your attention everyday. You do all you can, whenever you can, to be as available as possible. Having said that, this month I’ve had many kids ask me to attend their school play this month. I told the kids that I would do my best attend one of the three showings, but it is an after school event which can be hard to attend. Every day dating back until February, they would pester me until I gave them a definite answer. The week of the show, they asked me one last time and I told them that unfortunately I could not attend, but wished them luck. Little did they know that I would surprise all of them and cheer them on. The day of the play came and I showed up a little early to see their faces glow like it was Christmas morning. I felt like I gave them a little bit of a confidence boost because they had said they felt so nervous before the play. After the show, I had numerous students introduce their parents to me to tell me they were so happy that I tricked and surprised them by attending the show. It was so great because I was able to make so many students’ days, while also being able to meet many new parents.

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Playground Story of the Week

A positive playground story from Coach Michael

Playworks’ Junior Coach program allows students to help our coaches facilitate recess, and more importantly has the power to teach these students valuable, wide-ranging skills along the way. Giving the following student added responsibilities helped him channel his focus towards his strengths rather than his weaknesses.


          A student who I will call Timothy has had a bad rep at school. Many school staff members were telling me how defiant he could be, so I made him a Junior Coach hoping this could positively change his behavior. I worked closely with him, teaching and inspiring him to make better decisions with his actions and words. After some time, I saw that he was really taking his Junior Coaching job very seriously. This was just what I wanted to see from him. I knew he would excel as a leader as long as he was given the chance to make a positive impact and do good for the school.

          I have noticed many students are labeled as the “troublemaker” or the “bad kid,” but it is important to ignore those labels and instead focus on their strengths. If someone is always hearing about how “bad” they are, then they will never think they can do good. My goal is to teach these students that they can do good as long as they set their mind to something and block out the negativity. Everyone feeds off of others’ energy and personalities. Complementing, acknowledging, and role modeling is huge. To me, these actions make the biggest impacts on even some of the hardest kids to work with.

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Introducing Warriors GetFit Fridays!

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This year, Playworks, The Golden State Warriors, and Kaiser Permanente have a Bay Area-wide partnership to promote fitness and healthy eating. In order to make getting fit a lifelong habit we have provided our partner schools an opportunity to advertise the benefits of getting fit, incentivize the healthy behavior and have fun while doing it. Introducing…GetFit Fridays!

Each Friday, coaches will roll out Get Fit activities and track participation to be in the running for the opportunity to host a Get Fit Time Out Event at their school or a sleuth of other prizes.

This month’s GetFit Friday theme: Endurance

Stay tuned for photos on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on #GetFitFridays!

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A Visit from the High Five Fairy

This week we wanted to highlight one of our amazing coach’s ideas which helps develop a school culture of empathy, inclusion and an overall healthy community!

High Five Fairy

Working with the teachers at her school, Coach Annie finds out who is going above and beyond in the classroom as well as observes on the playground who is playing safe and creating an inclusive environment.

When students are spotted doing something above and beyond, the “High Five Fairy” leaves a note on their desk with a surprise.

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“The kids get super stoked and it is exciting to see them working hard to get a “surprise visit” from the High Five Fairy!” -Coach Annie

All of the high fives we have are being sent over to Coach Annie for this awesomeness!

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