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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) kicked off PlayStreets 2014 today, announcing that the City of Chicago will host more than 140 special PlayStreets events throughout the summer for children and their families to get active.
“Every child in every neighborhood deserves to have a fun and healthy summer,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “PlayStreets provides just that, giving our children and their families more opportunities to get and stay active in their communities. This will help residents develop valuable skills and a healthy life style that they will carry through the rest of their lives.”
At a PlayStreets event, the streets are closed off to traffic for three or more hours and transformed into an urban oasis featuring sports, games, bounce houses, dancing, fitness classes and more. Last year, more than 10,000 residents participated in more than 50 PlayStreets events.
This year, more than 140 PlayStreets events are already scheduled in 26 neighborhoods across Chicago: Avondale, Austin, Belmont Cragin, Brighton Park, Chicago Lawn, East Garfield Park, East Side, Gage Park, Grand Boulevard, Hermosa, Humboldt Park, Lower West Side, Near North, North Lawndale, Oakland, Pullman, Rogers Park, Roseland, South Chicago, South Lawndale (Little Village), South Shore, Uptown, Washington Park, West Garfield Park, West Pullman and Woodlawn. The current schedule is available here.
Gads Hill Center, the Active Transportation Alliance, World Sport Chicago and Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago (LISC) are coordinating this year’s events on behalf of CDPH, working with more than 20 grassroots community partners will help host the events, empowering residents to take back their streets for fun and fitness.
“By providing more young people with more opportunities to be physically active today, we are preparing them to stay healthy and active down the road,” said CDPH Commissioner Bechara Choucair, M.D. “PlayStreets is a part of our citywide strategy to help our youngest residents live healthier lives.”
PlayStreets is a key component of Healthy Chicago, the citywide public health agenda first launched by Mayor Emanuel and CDPH in 2011. Healthy Chicago outlines more than 200 strategies dedicated to transforming the health of the City through collaborative efforts. PlayStreets is one strategy specific to helping youth to get and stay healthy in their schools, neighborhoods and homes. Mayor Emanuel and CDPH continue to promote strategic health efforts, including guaranteed recess for students, improved physical activity guidelines at childcare centers and increased access to healthy food options for families across Chicago.
PlayStreets community partners organizing this year’s events include: Asian Human Services, Beyond the Ball, Breakthrough Urban Ministries, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Carole Robertson Center for Learning, La Casa Norte, Catholic Charities, Centro Romero, Chicago Youth Center, Chinese Mutual Aid Association, Chicago LAMP, Christopher House, Claretian Associates, The Community Builders, Family Focus, Garfield Park Community Council, Howard Area Community Center, Illinois Youth Rugby Association, Indo-American Center, KLEO Family Life Community Center, Local Motions, Mary Crane, New Life Center, Onward Neighborhood House, Primo Center for Women and Children, Project Education Plus, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Roseland Little League, South Shore Chamber, Southwest Organizing Project, TCEP, Universidad Popular, West Humboldt Park Development Council and Woodlawn Public Safety Alliance.
More information on Healthy Chicago and a full schedule of PlayStreets events can be found at www.CityofChicago.org/Health.