More than 50 years ago, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation created “PlayStreets“—a program that closes designated streets to traffic so that kids have a safe place to play when school is out. In addition to having a place to play, this program supplies nutritious meals and snacks to kids that would normally receive them while at school.
With COVID-19 hitting Philadelphia’s inner-city neighborhoods hard this past spring, public pools and most summer camps and activities were shuttered, making the PlayStreets program importance even more evident to foundation founders, Zach and Julie Ertz.
“Immediately upon meeting and hearing the vision of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Kathryn Ott-Lovell, we knew that we wanted to support her in her quest to create an even more robust program to help kids play safely and have a true summer experience this year”, said Ertz Family Foundation Executive Director, Lisa Ertz.
Referred to as “SuperStreets”, the 2020 PlayStreets truly became a haven of fun and play. The Ertz Family Foundation sponsored several of these streets in the Kensington area and ensured that kids could participate in all kinds of kid-friendly activities. From super-soakers and play pools to play equipment, arts and crafts, and special guests—their smiles let us know that we had succeeded in giving just a little bit of extra joy to our city’s most precious people.