Lafayette Blacktop Revitalization Project

The Problem

I work for a non-profit organization (called City Year) at an K-8 school in Chicago. One of the biggest struggles at our school is recess. Since we are an inner-city school, we do not have a big field or grassy lawn to play on, nor do we have a playground. We simply send our kids outside to a blacktop/parking lot area with very little equipment to play with — the result is that recess time for many students becomes a time of disengagement or conflict. My City Year team (which is comprised of a diverse group of eight 17-24 year old Americorps volunteers) wishes to embark on a project to revitalize the blacktop area and provide better equipment to encourage healthy play for our kids at recess time.

Plan of Action

Right now there are some faded and cracked four-square courts and other designs on the blacktop — we plan to repaint these in bold colors and paint more foursquare, hopscotch and other game courts on the blacktop. We also intend to purchase kickballs, soccer balls, hula hoops, jump ropes and other equipment. Finally, we'd like to ask a non-profit organization called Playworks to come to our school and train both the City Year team and the staff on effective recess coaching.

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