|Message from the Mayor and Commissioner||
|Putting Children First|
|Connecting People with the Waterfront|
|Greening New York|
|Rebuilding Neighborhood Parks|
|Funding our Initiatives|
|Friends of Parks|
|Download the report|
Putting Children First
MORE THAN 1.2 MILLION CHILDREN live in New York City, and most of them play in parks. Our children embody our dreams and aspirations for New York City’s future; providing programming and facilities for children is a top priority for Parks & Recreation.
Go to a playground, ballfield, or recreation center, and you will see children having fun and getting exercise. To enrich further the lives of New York City’s kids, we created Shape Up New York and enhanced Parks AfterSchool and Teens at Parks, all with the assistance of outside partners.
SHAPE UP NEW YORK
In collaboration with the City Departments of Education and of Health and Mental Hygiene, we developed Shape Up New York, a year-round fitness program for children and families. Shape Up encourages and facilitates the development of healthy lifestyles through energizing, non-competitive physical activity. This program grew from Wake Up New York, a successful pilot program run in the summer of 2003 at four sites in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. Shape Up reaches nine neighborhoods whose residents disproportionately suffer from diabetes and weight-related health problems.
With the help of grants received through the City Human Resources Administration, as well as from Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation, we enhanced Parks AfterSchool. Based in 33 of our recreation centers,
Parks AfterSchool now serves 3,000 kids ages six to thirteen, 80 percent of whom are on public assistance. Visit any of the programs across the five boroughs, and you will find children staging plays, building web sites, and warming up with their soccer teams. With a student to staff ratio of ten to one, Parks AfterSchool gives every child quality attention for as many as three hours a day, five days a week, all school year long.
TEENS AT PARKS
The Teens at Parks program, now thriving at 18 recreation centers, teaches teenagers leadership skills, civic responsibility, and self-presentation. In this afterschool program, participants mentor and tutor younger students. The teenagers acquire self-awareness and self-esteem through these positive relationships, and the younger children find homework help and role models.
Through a growing collaboration with the City Department of Education, we are developing new interdisciplinary programs. We are exploring aquatics classes for middle school and elementary school kids; structured outdoor athletics that help middle schoolers acquire fitness habits and prepare them for high school programs; and overnight camping and field trips that give social, environmental, and historical context to the subjects kids study in school. We will also continue to renovate ballfields, basketball courts, and playgrounds.