Welcome Back to School to all our Reimagine Play Families. We had a blast this summer and wanted to share all we have been up to and what’s next.
MLK Summer Scholars
Reimagine Play is proud to have been selected to participate in John Hancock's 2017 MLK Summer Scholars program. As part of the program, we brought on two wonderful scholars - Anthony Okoye and Laurent Tossoukpe - both rising seniors at Boston Latin Academy - to serve as Youth Coaches this summer. Each year, John Hancock creates hundreds of jobs for Boston’s teens. The program provides much needed support for organizations to provide summer jobs for the City's youth. MLK Summer Scholars is open to teens, who are full-time residents of the City of Boston and who have demonstrated leadership qualities.
Our MLK Scholars helped us coach our summer parks fitness classes and camp programs which served over 400 children. They also created outlines for new exercise videos, drafted blog content and participated in a brainstorming session for a new gym concept. In addition to their work experience at Reimagine Play, our Scholars receive financial literacy training and attended a series of bi-weekly leadership workshops based on the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A special thank you to Anthony and Laurent for their contributions this summer and to Boston Public Schools for providing work space. And our deepest gratitude to John Hancock for giving us the opportunity to participate in this program.
Boston Parks Summer Fitness Series
For the second year in a row, we partnered with the Boston Public Health Commission, Boston Parks and Recreation Department and BCBSMA for the 2017 Boston Parks Summer Fitness Series which brings over 20 free outdoor fitness classes each week in Boston city parks. Reimagine Play held its On the MOVE Kids Fitness Classes in Menino Park in Charlestown and M Street Park in South Boston. A huge thanks to Nicole Ferraro and Alisha Gomes from the BPHC and Jennifer Widener from Boston Parks for supporting our classes, and to all the parents and organizations who joined us to make this an extra fun summer.
Summer Camp Programs
We partnered with our friends at Greenwood Shalom in Dorchester, Friends of the Children in Jamaica Plain, Longy School El Sistema Summer Academy in Cambridge and South End Community Health Center to run our On the MOVE Kids Fitness classes for their summer camps. As part of these programs we focused on movement skills, games, teamwork and building confidence. We even tried new obstacles including slack lines and the Ninjaline. Our favorite video is of Kelvin Bauer, one of the incredible mentors at Friends of the Children. Check out his moves!
Events and Fairs
We broke out the Bubble Balls at the South End Summer Soulstice Event. Both kids and adults had a great time playing bubble ball soccer and even rolling in the field. These definitely make you feel like a kid again.
We created a giant obstacle course for the the Billion Mile Race Club and New Balance Foundation for their year end club celebration. With over 300 runners, this event was a treat.
We also participated in the Boston Parks for their 2017 Children's Festival in Franklin Park. It was great to have kids from all over Boston join us for our obstacle course.
2017 Road to Wellness 5K and Kids Color Fun Run
We had an incredible day at the Third Annual Road to Wellness 5K Walk/Run held on Saturday, September 9th at The Dimock Center. From the long jump contest to the mini obstacle course, these kids gave it their all. Congratulations to all the youth athletes who participated in the Kids Fun Run. A special thanks to The Dimock Center, HoodFit, and B.A.A. for bringing this inspiring event to the Roxbury community and to Playworks for supporting kids play! Mark your calendar now for next year's event, which will be held on Saturday, September 9th 2017. Be sure to visit the Road to Wellness website throughout the year for updates.
Boston Public School Fall Open House
On October 28, 2017, Boston Public Schools will host its 3rd Open House at the Bruce Bolling Municipal Building in Roxbury featuring workshops, interactive exhibits, and panel discussions. Reimagine Play will be displaying its giant space net, and will have slackfline demonstrations and lessons by one of New England's leading professional slackliners. The Open House is free. After the Open House, our exhibit structures will be available for display at other locations. To reserve the exhibit, please contact us.
Launch of Physical Literary Curriculum
Inspired by kids' love of obstacles, Reimagine Play is piloting an innovative physical literacy and life skills curriculum to go along-side mobile obstacle structures. The pilot is made possible by an Open Door Grant from The Boston Foundation. Since its launch in the summer of 2015, Reimagine Play has provided it’s On the MOVE Kids Fitness classes to over 2,000 children across Boston. Classes incorporate fun obstacles – from ninja warrior quad steps and tires to agility ladders - to teach children fundamental movement and life skills needed for success in school, sports and everyday activities. The curriculum will be piloted in several schools throughout Boston. You can learn more at the Boston Public School Fall Open House.
If your school or community organization is interested in piloting the curriculum, please contact us. Our goal is to expand the program to under-served areas and create more equitable access to innovative, physical activities for children and families across Boston.
Spartan Kids Race
For the third year, we will be joining Spartan Race at Fenway Park for its Kids Race on November 4th and 5th, 2017. We will host special kids training classes in October to prepare for the race. Stay tuned for class information. To register for the race, visit Spartan Race and use code PLAY20 for a 20% discount (effective on October 6).