What: Providing a recreational outlet for kids, playing games
Where: P.S. 24, Sunset Park Brooklyn, through New York Cares
When: Saturday, 11:25am-1:00pm
When you first arrive at P.S. 24, you’ll head upstairs to the gym and jump right in and start playing with the kids. The day that I volunteered was one of the first beautiful days of summer, so attendance was low- about 12 kids, all boys, all 8 years old, give or take a year or two (I heard that there are usually about 20-25) We played floor hockey for the first hour, and dodgeball the second hour. If there was nicer equipment locked up somewhere safe for the weekend, we didn’t have the key; the styrofoam hockey sticks were patched together with packing tape, and there were only 3 dodgeballs.
This activity took place at PS 24, The Dual Language School for International Studies: “780 students from pre-K to grade five attend this barrier-free school, with 45 percent of students receiving services as English Language Learners (ELL), 20 percent qualifying for special education, and 87 percent qualifying for free or reduced lunch.” This is a pretty accurate description of the cross-section of kids that attended the Sports Explorers, which provides a place for these kids to come and play in a safe environment with adult supervision. Other things to know:
– This program is suspended until school restarts in September, but the Sports Explorers program isn’t only at PS 24; check the New York Cares website for other locations.
– Wear sneakers and clothing suitable for sports activities.
– This is a good activity to do if you miss the good ol’ days of ducking and diving in gym class; not only did I break a sweat, but I won a game of dodgeball. So what if the other team was made up of 9 year olds?
– Like any other activity with kids, be prepared to mediate squabbles and come with a thick skin. No one wanted me on their team because I’m a girl (until I proved myself in dodgeball), and I’m pretty sure that one of the boys kept calling me “Ta-Ta’s”. Kids say the darn’dest things…