Join Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) staff as they showcase innovative programs and partnerships to reach new audiences. See how PPR uses new technologies in our Recreation Centers (eSports and podcasting), design new tools and materials for our PlaySTreets program (kits of parts and traveling playscapes), and leverage our large network of citywide partners to bring cutting-edge programs to residents of all ages.
Participants will travel to Christy Recreation Center in the Kingsessing section of West Philadelphia to tour PPR’s first eSports Lab, which opened its doors in 2021. Boasting six large screen HDTVs and nine gaming systems, the space allows for more than 20 gamers to play simultaneously and even more spectators — a glimpse into the future of eSports. Participants will also be given a demonstration of one of PPR’s most innovative ways to connect with its community during the pandemic, PlaySTreets. Beginning over 60 years ago as a means to deliver nutritious meals to children during the summer months, PlaySTreets has revolutionized how PPR connects with and serves its communities. Learn how PPR embeds light-touch literacy and Playful Learning into PlaySTreets in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia and Temple University, as well as uses the program to support youth workforce development. Participants will be able to demonstrate our large play landscapes and interact with and learn from key PPR PlaySTreets staff members who will highlight their Library Kits, Cooling Kits, Sports Kits, Art Kits, and Game Kits.
Finally, participants will take a short trip to West Philadelphia’s Overbrook community to tour the new eSport lab at Tustin Recreation Center. Funded by COMCAST, it is PPRs first completely fitted with gaming PCs as opposed to consoles. The space also is used as a community computer lab, teen programming, POD casting, and even Jr. DJ lessons. Participants will gain a sense of how one small space can be super impactful to engaging a community.
- Learn how to identify and fill gaps in programming to provide opportunities to youth where they live
- Learn how to create and engage in playful learning experiences using the PlayStreets demo
- Connect with and learn from teens who actively participate in both eSports and podcasting programs about their experiences
Deputy Commissioner, Program Division, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation