Adaire looks for donations to hire recess coach

The recess coach would serve every school day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Friends of Adaire Happy Hour Fundraiser at PlayArts for Playworks recess at Adaire included a whole lot of play and some hanging around by present and future Adaire students.

Friends of Adaire is setting out to raise $26,000 annually from parents and the local community in an effort to hire a daily part-time recess coach for students at Alexander Adaire Elementary.
What exactly does a recess coach do?
“They coordinate activities, they use play to teach conflict resolution, teamwork; they use different strategies for confidence building, good sportsmanship,” said Friends of Adaire’s Community Partnership Coordinator Sasha Best. “They oversee the whole A to Z process. Play is a really complicated and important part of human development. This person is an expert in that function.”
Additionally, Best said the recess coach works with students to develop leadership skills and improve self-confidence in students.
“All of those qualities transfer to the classroom,” she said.
Adaire currently has a recess coach who comes in one week every month. The coach is provided by a nonprofit called PlayWorks, which helps “schools and youth programs create recess and play environments where every child can join in.”
The entire program costs $52,000 for the entire school year, but PlayWorks foots half the bill.
“The amount of money Adaire receives from the Philadelphia School District just isn’t enough — and hasn’t been for a long time,” reads an open letter sent to supporters from Friends of Adaire. “This goes beyond extras and enrichment. Adaire and FoA consider supporting recess to be essential. And recess has not been deemed enough of a priority for investment by our long-underfunded big, urban public school district. Only through parental and community support can we fill the gap to cover recess and lunchtime support.”
Recess coaches provided by PlayWorks utilize techniques such as a “butterfly touch,” which is a way to teach students to gently tag other students when playing tag or similar games. They also teach games such as roshambo — similar to rock, paper, scissors — to teach conflict resolution.
The recess coach would serve every school day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For information on how to donate to the annual fund, visit riendsofadaire.weebly.com. For additional information, contact Best at adairecpc@gmail.org.