‘Play Streets’ program promises fun in the sun

July 30, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
‘Play Streets’ program promises fun in the sun
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While the COVD-19 pandemic prevents kids and families from enjoying normal summer activities, Sunset Park is one place where youngsters and adults can get some fresh air.

Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new initiative called Play Streets. Its goal is to provide families with safe, structured activities during weekdays, in partnership with the Fresh Air Fund, Building Healthy Communities and the Police Athletic League.

Starting Thursday, Aug. 6, Sixth Avenue from 44th to 45th Street will be closed for kids to play from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

The mayor hopes that children will have a safe place to participate in several projects, such as arts and crafts, making kaleidoscopes, birdhouses, rhythm drums, and cloud climbers.

Giant board games such as Connect 4 and Jenga will also be available and there will be drills for basketball, frisbee, softball, Wiffle ball, kickball and laser tag. Reading corners, dance classes, cardio and yoga exercises will also be included.

Street Lab, an NYC-based nonprofit that creates outdoor furniture and programming for public space, is providing 160 custom benches and a new no-touch obstacle course called PLAY NYC. All programming is designed to meet social distancing guidelines.

“Young people deserve the chance to play freely in their neighborhoods while staying safe from COVID-19, and Play Streets will go a long way toward easing the burden of a summer unlike any other,” said de Blasio.

“Children in New York City need to be able to play outside in safe spaces now more than ever. The Fresh Air Fund is excited to serve children citywide as part of the new Open Streets: Play Streets program,” said Fatima Shama, executive director of the Fresh Air Fund.

“As Open Streets continues to grow, providing New Yorkers with space to walk, bike, cool off and enjoy outdoor dining, we are now proud to roll out Play Streets for children and their families in some of the city’s most COVID-impacted neighborhoods,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

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