Since 1914, PAL PLAYSTREETS and its supporting partners have fearlessly helped communities take back their streets by providing opportunities for children to engage in organized physical activities, to learn valuable lessons about positive life choices and to access helpful resources in their communities. 100 percent of residents and business owners believe PAL PLAYSTREETS make their communities safer.
Over the course of seven weeks each summer, PAL closes roughly 40 public areas in New York City neighborhoods suffering from high rates of crime and poverty to create supervised and fun-filled places for children ages 6-16 to play in safety. Each PLAYSTREET has fun athletic and recreational equipment, as well as arts and crafts, to make a fun experience for the kids. All PLAYSTREETS are staffed with a Site Director, an Arts Specialist, and a Sports Specialist, providing adult mentors and supervision. Fun summer activities include soccer, basketball, double dutch, tye-dying, mosaics, bracelet making, and outdoor board games. Participants also learn how to identify members of their local NYPD precinct as well as their local elected officials, fostering strong relationships and an increased sense of community.
In response to lingering crime problems in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) properties, PAL now works with NYPD and NYCHA officials to offer additional PLAYSTREETS programs on targeted NYCHA properties. PLAYSTREETS also extends to selected New York City homeless shelters, providing homeless youth with much-needed play time and opportunities for organized physical activity.
At the end of the summer, PLAYSTREETS culminates in a Borough Day in each of the five boroughs—a free celebration in a public park for local children and their families to eat, play and bond.
Summer Day Camp
Summer enrichment and learning experiences are crucial to the academic success and positive development of young people. PAL Summer Day Camps provide positive mentorship and supervision during high-risk summer months.
Each summer, PAL provides children ages 5-13 living in communities facing high rates of poverty and crime with Summer Day Camps, free of charge. For these children and their families, PAL’s Summer Day Camps are often the sole difference between a 12 week summer characterized by listlessness, risk exposure and learning loss --and a summer filled with nutrition, character development and educational growth.
Over the course of seven weeks, children engage in a revolving schedule of academic enrichment, arts learning and fun physical fitness activities, including team based athletic tournaments and sports fundamentals instruction. Frequent field trips and special events add excitement to summer days and introduce campers to youth from other communities and cultural resources in and around the City. Participants in PAL’s Summer Day Camps have benefitted from increased physical activity and engagement in the arts, decreased summer learning loss, and improved, communication skills and self-esteem.
PAL’s Summer Day Camps kick off with an annual Carnival, a supervised day full of fun and games, and culminate in Culture Day, a project based learning experience in which children present what they learned about the summer’s citywide educational theme. PAL’s Summer Day Camps operate in all five boroughs and are open Monday through Friday, from 8am to 6pm.