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AmeriCorps Member Pledges to Keep Kids Active

by Scott Julian

A passion for learning and service means one rotation was not enough for AmeriCorps member Rebbecca Bakre. So, after a stint with Civic Works, the 24-year-old, University of Maryland graduate joined Playworks Baltimore AmeriCorps while she pursues her master's in public administration.

Playworks works with K-5 students at low-income schools to support learning by integrating safe, healthy, and inclusive play activities for recess and throughout the day. The non-profit organization currently operates a direct service program in more than 300 schools in 23 US cities, serving more than 130,000 elementary school students.

Rebbecca was one of 22 new Playworks Baltimore and DC AmeriCorps members who gathered recently at Federal Hill Preparatory School in Baltimore, MD, to sign the AmeriCorps pledge and commit to a year of service.

“I have always had a passion for service and obtain great satisfaction out of volunteering my time. I completed a 300-hour AmeriCorps service term last year through another non-profit called Civic Works. I decided to apply to Playworks and take on the 1,700 hour commitment this time around,” said Rebbecca.

"It is a major commitment, but I am thrilled because it will be 1,700 hours of making a difference, having an impact, shaping lives, and building character," she added.

Playworks' members are joined by educators at the schools to transform recess and play into a positive experience. "Each of our members will support, respect, and provide a healthy community and healthy play, every day for the entire school year," said Alison Vaux-Bjerke, Program Associate at Playworks DC.

“In the schools, I will be responsible for facilitating play activities both during and after school,” said Rebbecca. “I will be working alongside, faculty, staff, administrators, and parents ensuring that the students are engaging in fun and meaningful play that will in turn foster healthy habits and positive growth. This makes me very happy because I know that the impact will be a lasting one.”

“Service to me means dedicating your time and resources for the benefit of others.” said Rebbecca.

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