For our first community service project of the 2012-13 school year, Playworks Chicago came out on two consecutive weekends to “play in the streets” with Active Transportation Alliance at the second annual Open Streets Chicago. Office staff members and our school-based Program Coordinators volunteered at Open Streets to honor the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance and pay tribute to those affected by the day’s events through positive action.
This was the second time we were able to partner with ATA and it was awesome to see Open Streets, an initiative of the Chicago Loop Alliance, not only happen in the Loop again this year but also extend to the Wicker Park/Bucktown neighborhoods. Closing off busy thoroughfares to create safe, lively places for the public to play and be active is a great way to get the community together and spread the message that being healthy and physically active can be FUN!
Playworks staff led beginner and advanced four square games, human tic tac toe, and traditional relay races. Adults relived their recess days with nostalgia and kids jumped into the game action with boundless energy right in the middle of the city. We even had some furry canine friends participate in “human” tic tac toe!.
We are excited that the Open Streets initiative is reaching more neighborhoods as the movement to make Chicago's streets safer and more vibrant.