Monday, May 19, 2014

KABOOM! Time to think again about PLAY and PITTSBURGH's new philosophy

In response to a P-G article,

No, no, no. This is just a tip, play is. We need to brand, believe and succeed in turning our town into as a place where we "play well with others." It has to be great play. Uplifting play. Healthy play. Play that is on the side of wellness and community interactions. 

Play has some less than ideal outlets: Play with guns. Perverted play. Need more? Boy racers in New Zealand play with cars and can be found going 100+ MPH on city streets. Or, we could return to a mayor that played politics by closing Recreation Centers and outdoor swim pools. That mayor's game was like "chicken" between city hall and the state house yet the kids were the ones in the backseat waiting for the inevitable crash. 

More? Tons of hearing loss and concussions come in play's realm, outside of OSHA's reach. 

"Playing well with others" needs to be the theme. Perhaps Mayor William Peduto can come to understand that we need to make our parks the best places where we TEACH our kids and OURSELVES how to play well with others. This is a learned skill. This isn't a passive, greenway only, Eco walk revelation for teens who are more motivated by peers (gangs). 

I want positive gangs running our parks and shared spaces such as swim teams and orchestras, not thugs. 

Understand the big difference between hardware and software, physical spaces and programming. One is easy to see while the other is where the sustaining, compelling value resides.

Furthermore, "playing well with others" has a sibling or two, "parenting" and "stewardship."

Feel free to contact me. 412-298-3432. Hope to hear from the Foundation folks and KABOOM! CEO. Especially, Bill, Kevin, Curtiss and Jim Griffin, Citiparks new Director.

Be sure to read the position paper about play and sports for PITTSBURGH PUBLIC SCHOOLS,

Mark Rauterkus    
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
412 298 3432 = cell

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