Stories From The Arnone After School Program

Coaching for Change, Inc. is a ground-breaking grassroots sports initiative seeking to use sports to improve college and career readiness skills in high school students–by teaching sports coaching skills and entrepreneurship. Coaching for Change combines mentoring, workforce development, sports/play, and youth development.

The Coaching For Change Mission is to educate young people for the skills and opportunities they need to thrive in today’s workforce through apprenticeships within their communities, using sports and project planning as vehicles for success

This year, School on Wheels has partnered with Coaching for Change at the Arnone School in Brockton. At this site, children spend half their time receiving one-on-one tutoring and half their time working with Stonehill College and Brockton High Students playing cooperative games. This program gives the high school “game changers” invaluable leadership skills, job skills and helps our kids gain confidence and practice teamwork.

Here are some of our students’ recent successes with the program as related to us by School on Wheels’ System Manager, Marie Schenk:


After experiencing several “teacher-made” obstacle courses, the children in the Coaching for Change (*) program at the Arnone were anxious to make their own. Anna was so happy when it was her turn to make a game! While the other children played with basketballs, I helped her come up with the rules and test the game. When we were done, we invited the others over to learn the rules and play the game. When they were done, Anna turned to me with a big smile on her face and said “I was smart! It was my idea and then they did it!” By making her own game, Anna developed critical thinking skills and also experienced the joy of watching an idea became reality.


During gym class, Brittany, a studious first grader, set to work creating her own obstacle course out of the equipment we have. When she finished and invited the other children to play her game, a rambunctious kindergartener destroyed it. I was frustrated by the kindergartener’s behavior, which had been disruptive all afternoon, and sad for Brittany that her hard work had been ruined so quickly. As we were lining up to wait for the bus, however, she motioned to me and whispered in my ear “It’s okay that he ruined my game. I still had fun making it.” What a wise child to be so calm, when I, the grownup, could feel the smoke coming out of my ears!


Jayden, a third grader, has made such strides since September. When he started the Coaching for Change program, he was quick to say he couldn’t do something and could be driven to tears by the smallest setback. His life was unstable and stressful, and it showed. With lots of encouragement and positive reinforcement, however, his confidence in himself has grown. He no longer dissolves into tears when things don’t go his way, and he’s willing to try games he’s never played before. Even when plans change dramatically, such as last week when the gym was taken and we had to play a board game instead, he kept his cool and was even able to have some fun after he adjusted to plan B.

While one-on-one academic mentoring will always be the heart of School on Wheels programming, we are excited to be exposing our students to new and different tools for success. With confidence in and out of the classroom, our students will be better equipped to tackle life’s challenges. Partnering with Coaching for Change has helped our students learn important leadership and teambuilding skills but most importantly it has helped them learn to be kind and respective to their peers.