Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation hosted Playworks of Greater Washington DC’s Junior Coach Leadership Conference at Capital One Arena on Mar. 1. The conference consisted of 120 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students from Playworks' Junior Coach (JC) program, which provides students with monthly training focusing on peer leadership and conflict resolution. JCs then implement the training on the recess yard, where they model positive behavior for their peers, as well as help to facilitate games and resolve any conflicts that may arise during play.
During the conference Playworks coaches and MSE staff assisted at stations where JCs played games and participated in enrichment activities. Stations took place on the Wizards court and in arena locker rooms and focused on characteristics that Playworks strives to instill in their JCs, including emotional awareness, inclusion/ways to fight hate, alter-egos (integrity) and leadership through failure. Maria Giovannetti, Washington Mystics assistant general manager, joined motivational coach Antonio Boyd, producer and social entrepreneur OnRae LaTeal, and Coppin State tennis coach Ebonye Jones for a leadership panel and question and answer session.
“The JCLC was amazing!” said Kierra Butler, Playworks program coordinator and Americorps member. “I was ecstatic to see all our future leaders deeply engaged in each of our workshops, especially during our panel discussion.”
Students were treated to lunch courtesy of Aramark. The event ended with a motivational speech from Darren Haynes, WUSA9 sports director and anchor, who then announced this year’s JC award winners, Tania De La O, Dillynn Ferrell, Haneefah Persaud and Reagan Young.
“Thank you so much to MSE Foundation and Capital One Arena and to all those who ensured our students had a great time and walked away with knowledge about how to be an empathetic leader,” said Butler.
According to Playworks' annual survey, teachers, staff and principals at affiliated schools reported a 94% decrease in the incidents of bullying during recess along with a 99% increase in physical activity. The schools also reported an 97% increase in the level of participation in academic activities to go on top of an 97% positive overall impact on school climate. In addition, 85% of JC-trained students take on a leadership role during recess.
Playworks of Greater Washington DC is a nonprofit organization that transforms schools by providing play and physical activity at recess and throughout the school day. Its mission is to improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play. Playworks currently partners with 18 public and public charter schools in Washington, D.C., serving 7,100 students each day.
Created in 2013, Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation supports the charitable efforts of the Washington Capitals, Mystics, Valor and Wizards and Baltimore Brigade. MSE Foundation is committed to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and focuses on the following five pillars to maximize its impact and engagement with the community: youth basketball, football and hockey; education and scholarship; pediatric health and fitness; military and veterans' affairs; and hunger and homelessness.