This full-time Playworks AmeriCorps Member role brings healthy play and physical activity to low-income schools to create a positive environment for learning and teaching. Members are provided with extensive training and placed in an elementary school to work alongside teachers and school administrators to implement our on-site Playworks program. Members also generate community and family involvement in their school community by recruiting and supporting volunteers and facilitating community engagement activities.
Members commit to serving a full school year of at least 1700 hours. This position position typically requires more than 40 hours per week and includes night and weekend sports league and community engagement activities. Members typically start service in August, and serve until the end of the school year.
Playworks AmeriCorps Members currently serve in 23 cities across the nation. For more information and to see what cities are currently recruiting AmeriCorps Members please visit:
Create a safe and inclusive recess on the playground by being a caring role model to ensure that every kid plays every day.
Implement a youth leadership program by providing student leadership opportunities at recess and facilitating trainings for a cohort of students before or after school.
Lead individual classes to build youth leadership skills, promote cooperation, and introduce new games that kids can play on the playground, including the rules and boundaries.
Enlist and coach students in interscholastic/developmental sports leagues that might include basketball, volleyball, or soccer.
Design and implement a community event during the year that engages students’ families at the school site.
Recruit and coordinate volunteers who will join you at recess to strengthen school climate.
Develop a strong school culture by influencing, motivating and building rapport with faculty, administrators, parents, and volunteers.
Participate in national days of service and some weekend service projects in the greater community.
Flex administrative muscles to organize program schedules, track your hours, and collect and enter important program data.
Community Need Addressed
Bullying prevents students from becoming academically engaged in school and has been linked to lower academic achievement and other significant impacts on students. To address this growing community problem, Playworks AmeriCorps members will create school climates where it is socially unpopular to exclude or bully others and where respect and inclusion become the social norm. Three important findings from bullying research show that (1) bullying occurs two to three times more often at school than any other location and tends to thrive where there is the largest amount of students and the least amount of supervision (Smith, 2010) with over 70% of incidents happening on the playground (Glew, et al, 2005), (2) interventions that focus on improving the overall school climate are the most effective strategies to reduce bullying (Masiello & Schroeder, 2014), and (3) caring adults that model positive behavior mitigate negative effects of bullying and allow victims to become or remain engaged in school (Office of Juvenile Justice, 2011). The Playworks AmeriCorps program model provides a school-wide intervention based on a caring adult modeling positive behavior and creating a safe and inclusive environment where students become academically engaged, and consists of six components: recess, class game time, junior coaches, outside of school time, sports leagues, and community engagement.
-Reduced Bullying among students during recess
-Increased classroom engagement among students
-Organized recess within schools both outside and in the classroom
-Increased school community engagement among parents, teachers and school supporters
Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Living allowance, Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training
Skills you will gain
Group Management, Leadership, Time Management, Administrative Skills, Leading and teaching groups of children
Competencies You Will Develop
Demonstrate sensitivity and empathy, Lead group discussion, Listen to and consider others' viewpoints, Maintain open lines of communication with others, Speak clearly, in precise language and in a logical, organized and coherent manner, Turn taking, Write cleary and effectively
Creativity & Problem Solving
Able to identify and define the problem, Capable of generating possible solutions, Communicate the problem to appropriate personnel, Improvise, Provide relevant expertise, Select and implement well-considered solution
Develop constructive working relationships and maintain them over time, Establish a high degree of trust and credibility with others, Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers, Stay positive and outcome oriented, Use appropriate strategies and solutions for dealing with conflicts and differences to maintain a smooth workflow
Accepts responsibility, Anticipate the consequences of decisions, Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process, Quickly respond with a back-up plan if a decision goes amiss
Carefully consider which tools or technological solutions are appropriate for a given job, Consistently choose the best tool or technological solution for the problem at hand, Operate tools and equipment in accordance with established operating procedures, safety standards, and ethical guidelines, Seek opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create environment of contribution, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time, Demonstrate the effective allocation of time and resources efficiently, Drive decision making, Facilitate group planning, Set goals
Be pleasant, courteous, professional and respectful when dealing with internal and external customers or clients, Evaluate customer or client satisfaction, Honor the privilege of being able to work with and for those being served, Provide personalized, prompt, and efficient service to meet the requirements, requests and needs of customers, Recognize the importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality of those being served, Understand and anticipate the needs of others, Understand the importance of one's role in the functioning of the organization, Understand the significance of maintaining a healthful and safe environment