Monday, July 14, 2008

Sunset Park Kids Take Over 61st Street

The Police Athletic League is providing a "Summer Play Street" in Sunset Park. 61st Street between 4th and 5th Avenue will be closed to all traffic every Monday through Friday from 9 AM - 5 PM making it perfect for summer play. Games and activities, including basketball and Double Dutch (I never could get more than three steps), arts and crafts, and music and dance will be available for children who show up.

According to the PAL NYC website:

PAL’s summer Playstreet Program is the foundation of PAL’s summer programs. PAL closes off streets and other public areas throughout New York City to give children safe, supervised places to play. Playsites offer sports, arts, crafts, games, reading, music and dance. Mobile reading teachers bring a variety of books to the children to encourage summer reading. Summer playsites serve youngsters in neighborhoods in all five boroughs.


Anonymous said...

The PAL program, while altruistic in concept, has failed the kids on 61st St. There are none of the programs or activities mentioned in the article above. For the past few years the best the kids can hope for is for the firetrucks from Ladder 114 to come and open a fire hydrant. This is problem for house owners on the block because whenever there's a heavy rain the drainage system is taxed with the extra wasted flowing water. The staff hired by the PAL just sit around all day long, there is no more lunch provided for the kids, there is hardly any supervision. It's become just a big inconvenience for the adults who live on the block.

BestViewInBrooklyn said...

That is so depressing. Has anyone on the block made a complaint to the CB or directly to the precinct?

Thanks for commenting.

procrastination_xtravaganza said...

Anonymous, do you have children? It sounds like you don't. In this economy, it's understandable that PAL may have to scale back on planned activities, however, children have always been able to supervise themselves at play, and their parents should feed them if PAL can't. NYC also has the free meals program at most elementary schools throughout the entire summer.

The longstanding issue has been a lack of space in urban areas where kids can gather safely and exercise without being on constant lookout for cars. This program is a small and welcomed step to providing the space that other children in more rural areas enjoy.

Sorry your water pressure is low with a running hydrant, but that's hardly a problem caused by this Play Street program - fire departments and city residents have been opening fire hydrants for years - you should call 311 and report it and request that a sprinkler attachment be placed on your block's hydrant.

There is a play street near me on Quincy between Marcus Garvey and Lewis Aves and it warms my heart to see inner city children running free without the added stress of car dodging and pollution.