BY JAMES FARRELL
A pair of Queens parks will become centers for summer fun beginning this week.
The Police Athletic League (PAL) opened its summer Playstreets program in Queens on July 5. The program sets up in public areas, such as playgrounds and parks, and creates spaces for safe, supervised places for children to play and enjoy the summer.
The two Queens parks that will host Playstreets are Rufus King Playground, located at 153rd Street and Jamaica Avenue, and Park of the Americas, located at 42nd Avenue and 104th Street. The Playstreets are open on Monday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Aug. 10—and are free for all New York City children.
The Playstreets offer opportunities for children to join sports leagues that feature Cops vs. Kids teams as well as summer day camps and basketball clinics and tournaments. The basketball clinics are open to boys and girls between ages 5 and 17. For children between ages 5 and 8, there is the “biddies/pee wee clinics” division, which features fundamental skills, such as footwork, layups, dribbling and passing.
The novice/junior division—for children between the ages of 9 and 12—focus on fundamental skills, defense strategies, rebounding and advanced concepts. The varsity clinics—for children between ages 13 and 17—introduce such concepts as team strategy, advanced drills and higher-level skills.
There are additional basketball competitions, such as three-point and free-throw contests and five-on-five basketball tournaments every Thursday. Children can also take part in fitness obstacle courses.
Through the Playstreets’ PAL FIT Challenges, children will participate in activities geared toward exercising and following a healthy living lifestyle and take part in citywide fitness challenges. The challenges are geared toward combating childhood obesity. And the Playstreets offer nutrition education programs that aim to teach participants about healthy food choices and have children log their daily water consumption.
The Queens Playstreets are two of 15 Playstreets found throughout the five boroughs that serve nearly 10,000 children.
Reach James Farrell at (718) 357-7400 x 127, email@example.com or @farrellj329.