Yesterday, PAL Playstreets opened once again. For over a century, our signature program has been bringing city summer camps directly to children in communities all over the City. The program continues to be a favorite activity for our kids and their families, providing sports, fitness, and arts learning experiences for thousands of boys and girls each summer. This year, 41 Playstreets are up and running in all five boroughs.
It all started in 1914, when Police Commissioner Arthur Woods, concerned for the poor children who lived in congested tenements, converted vacant lots and whole city blocks into playgrounds for urban youth. This new and radical program was heavily covered by the media at the time, including The New York Times: “Children must play, and children, if they live in cities, must play in the streets.”
Today, Playstreets benefit our kids and their neighborhoods. In a recent poll, 100% of community members surveyed stated that PAL Playstreets make their communities safer. We are proud to offer safe play spaces, constructive programs, and meaningful learning experiences for our kids and of the significant improvements that we make in the community.
Most importantly, Playstreets and other PAL programs show our young people that the community truly cares about them. Thank you for continuing this tradition. None of it would be possible without your support.
Frederick J. Watts
Executive Director, PAL