Teaching Kindness Through Play

Hello ICS families! My name is Veronica Roux, and I am the ICS Playworks coach this year. I am a recent graduate of Bryn Mawr College where I majored in anthropology and played soccer and basketball. During my time at Bryn Mawr I committed myself to numerous volunteer opportunities, including one where we worked with Overbrook Elementary School to provide them with recess once a week, similar to the Playworks model. I also worked with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to get them active and moving through a program called Rally. For my anthropology thesis I researched Playworks and its effectiveness to achieve the goals it sets. I interviewed employees of the program and volunteered with a coach in the school for two months. My research taught me the importance of physical activity and play for students. I am thrilled to be bringing my knowledge and enthusiasm to ICS this year to help foster a positive school community.

At Playworks we work every day to make the playground and recess a welcoming and inclusive place for everyone and to embody ICS’s commitment to kindness and unity. We leverage the power of play to reduce bullying and create an environment for safe, fun, and healthy play. Here at ICS we have recess rules that help us achieve these goals. Our rules, which the students recite at the beginning of every recess, are:

  • Be respectful
  • Everyone can play
  • Play hard and have fun

These rules are in place to make sure every student feels included and like they can have fun on the playground and join any game they would like. Playworks also works to teach children how to play safely through Class Game Time, where I go into classes and we focus on games and social skills that come along with playing. When I go to a classroom for class game time I play games that both engage students and address issues that may happen at recess. If we’ve noticed that students are yelling at each other during their recess I will pick a game to practice that focuses on cooperation, teamwork and working together. Students also learn to use Ro-Sham-Bo (also known as rock, paper, scissors) as a conflict management tool. They do this to decide who gets the ball first during soccer, or if they cannot decide who is “it” in tag. Our goal at Playworks is to make sure every student feels included and excited to come out to recess and play every day!

– Coach Veronica

Coach Veronica in the play yard with recess team members Teacher Sicicely and Teacher Jasmine


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