Published on March 15, 2008
Recreating WrEcked Centers: Recreating WrEcked Centers Northeast High School First Period US History Room 141 Student Voices Fall 2003 Students who worked on the project: Students who worked on the project Angel Alicea Marcella Brown Laura Carroll James Crouthamel Drew Gulak Glea Habipaj Cherie Harris Neejla Musitief Garwai Ng John Nguyen Brandon O’Malley Paul Port Dennis Sinchak Elsid Skendaj Alex Stafford Michael Stoutenger Daren Swain Nilesh Tailor Alfi Thazhathel Salini Thomas Biljana Todic Soniya Varghese Christopher Velez Manuel Vitoria Vadim Vitorsky How we started our research: How we started our research As a class, we picked three issues to study: car insurance, school funding and recreation centers. We worked in groups of 4 to research one topic. Therefore, we had 2 groups researching each topic. We used on-line sources and newspaper to find out – (1) the controversy or concern (2) the candidates’ positions and (3) options for addressing the concerns. Each group interviewed four people about the issue . Why we focused on recreation centers?: Why we focused on recreation centers? The candidates’ position on car insurance and school funding were easy to find. Their positions were on their web sites and in articles in the newspaper. Though they talked about skate boarding or after school programs, there was little information on how candidates would improve Philadelphia Recreation Centers. Recreation centers receive different levels of funding. This affects programming. The lower and near Northeast sections of the city offer less recreation programs than other areas of the city. We’d like to improve recreation centers in our neighborhoods. What the mayoral candidates said about Recreation in general: What the mayoral candidates said about Recreation in general Mayor Street supports “Teen Centers” at recreation centers to “provide enhanced recreational and social programs for community youth.” Also, on the Martin Luther King Day of Service, there are volunteer opportunities at recreation centers. Candidate Katz vowed to “liberate” Love Park to “rejuvenate a youthful attraction” for skate boarders. Why we focused on recreation centers – the Recreation Department Mission Statement is fine but based on our exit pollingand student survey, it isn’t being met. : Why we focused on recreation centers – the Recreation Department Mission Statement is fine but based on our exit polling and student survey, it isn’t being met. “…to encourage and enhance the development of the physical, cultural, artistic, and life skills of the residents of the City. The Department strives to maintain safe, clean, fully functional and professionally staffed facilities to provide for effective delivery of programs, activities, and services. The Department strives to make programs relevant and accessible to underserved communities, including minorities, women, the economically disadvantaged and those with special needs…” Interviews from our initial research: Interviews from our initial research The two groups researching recreation centers interviewed 8 people. The interviewees included adults who have children involved in recreation programs, an adult volunteer director of Big Brothers – Big Sisters, students who participate in recreation center programs and workers at two Northeast recreation centers. We decided to do exit polling on recreation centers to get feedback from voters. Interviews to prepare for Exit Polling and Surveys: Interviews to prepare for Exit Polling and Surveys We contacted directors or workers at 9 recration centers: --American Legion (6201 Torresdale Ave.) --Fox Chase Playground (601 Borbeck) --Lincoln Poll (201 Ryan Ave.) --Tarken Recreation Center (6250 Frontenac St.) --Lawncrest (6000 Rising Sun Ave.) --Norcom Community Ctr (10980 Normcom Rd.) --Bridgesburg (4625 Richmond St.) --Finley Playground (Stenton & Upsal Sts) --Jardel Recreation Center (1400 Cottman Ave.) --Rhawnhurst Recreation Center (8101 Bustleton Ave.) We asked: Hours (including when the facility is closed compared to the hours listed) Programs (this is on-line but we wanted to see if the lists are identical) Who determines which programs are offered? What other programs would they like to offer? What influences which programs are offered? Eleven Exit Polling Sites 202 people completed the exit poll: Eleven Exit Polling Sites 202 people completed the exit poll Cottman Ave / Krispy Kreams Wilson Middle School Austin Meehan Middle School Northeast High School Lawton Elementary School Simons Playground James Moore School Spruance School Solis-Cohen School Farrell School 75th Street Fire Station Exit Poll – November 4, 2003Philadelphia Recreation Centers: Exit Poll – November 4, 2003 Philadelphia Recreation Centers 1. Do you participate in any programs at a Philadelphia Recreation Center? _____Yes _____ No ____ If yes, which programs _______________________ If no, why not? (cost, hours, lack of programs, etc.) 2. The Recreation Centers can be improved by Northeast High School Student Voices Room 141 Nov. 4, 2003Thank you for voting! Please complete an exit poll on Philadelphia Recreation Centers! Thank youGracìasХвалаગુજરાતિ - તમારો આભારമലയാളം / നനനിспасибоpükranCám ƠnObrigado MerciVielen DankFalimenderit!: Northeast High School Student Voices Room 141 Nov. 4, 2003 Thank you for voting! Please complete an exit poll on Philadelphia Recreation Centers! Thank you Gracìas Хвала ગુજરાતિ - તમારો આભાર മലയാളം / നനനി спасибо pükran Cám Ơn Obrigado Merci Vielen Dank Falimenderit! We translated the exit poll into 11 languages spoken by students in our class. This was to benefit anyone whose first language is not English and preferred answering in their first language. What we learned from Exit Polling 1: What we learned from Exit Polling 1 Once people knew it was for a class project and NOT about how they voted, they were friendly Some people ignored us and were in a hurry We met many adults who care about our community but few are involved in our community because of busy schedules and other obligations What we learned from Exit Polling 2: What we learned from Exit Polling 2 We only received results from citizens who vote – mostly citizens who are older adults. There are many other people in the neighborhood who don’t or can’t (not citizens) vote and therefore we didn’t find out their opinions. Therefore, we decided to survey students at school. Most voters were positive but there were too many people handing out candidate information and telling people how to vote What we learned from Exit Polling 3: What we learned from Exit Polling 3 We were able to get people to complete the poll if we told them it would take 30 seconds We were given donuts! (Krispy Kream site) Some of us had good conversations with people we would not have met other places Other ideas to improve recreation centers:: Other ideas to improve recreation centers: Concerts and dances Tutoring Skate partks Advertise Ice hocky rinks Music and computer classes Jobs for community members Let young people “hang out” No racism at the recreation centers We contacted the Northeast Times and received coverage of the exit polling on Nov. 13, 2003: We contacted the Northeast Times and received coverage of the exit polling on Nov. 13, 2003 What we learned from the exit poll:: What we learned from the exit poll: People don’t participate because: --no time / hours --safety and security concerns --staff and management --maintenance (dirty) --costs of programs --lack of programs for older adults, people with special needs, etc. --lack of awareness --sometimes recreation centers aren’t inviting – they are controlled by a few people Programs people participate in are: --softball / baseball --basketball --soccer --hockey / ice skating --gymnastics --weight lifting / boxing --dance --swimming --aerobics --cheerleading / football --karate --day care and summer camp Northeast High School Survey Results: Northeast High School Survey Results We interviewed 278 Northeast High School Students (228 Juniors and 50 seniors). The students were either in US History or Social Science classes. The graphs show the results of the survey. Survey of Philadelphia Recreation Centers: Survey of Philadelphia Recreation Centers Year at Northeast High School ________Junior _________ Senior Recreation centers have a ___ positive ___ negative ___ no affect ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1. Do you participate in YOUR neighborhood recreation programs? _________yes _________ no Do you participate in ANOTHER neighborhood recreation program? _______ yes _________no 2. If you answered yes to #1, please check off how you became aware of the programs _____ friends _____family _____newspaper _____flyers _____at school _____ word of mouth ______phone call _____saw the building _____________ (other) 3. To improve recreation centers, the City of Philadelphia should (check up to 3) _____ improve the facilities (clean, paint, refurbish, etc.) _____ improve safety and security _____ build larger facilities (e.g. gyms) _____ improve the playing fields and / or courts _____ buy more equipment _____ stay open later / open earlier _____ add more teen programs than just sports _____ add more programs for young children and retired people _____ more staff training _____ other ideas: _______________________________________________________ Do you participate in a neighborhood recreation program?: Do you participate in a neighborhood recreation program? Do recreation centers have a positive, negative or no affect on my neighborhood?: Do recreation centers have a positive, negative or no affect on my neighborhood? If you participate in recreation center programs, how did you become aware of the programs?: If you participate in recreation center programs, how did you become aware of the programs? To improve recreation centers, the City of Philadelphia should…: To improve recreation centers, the City of Philadelphia should… Based on the our initial research, the exit polling and the student survey, we learned:: Based on the our initial research, the exit polling and the student survey, we learned: Recreation centers are perceived as poorly maintained (dirty, smelly, trashed), and unsafe (fights, racism / bias, etc.). There are also concerns about under-trained staff, old equipment, and lack of programs and hours. Though the Recreation Department web site is impressive, that doesn’t mean the hours are correct or all the programs are offered. Though we know there are lack of teen programs, we learned there are too few programs for retired people and young children. Next Steps - Political: Next Steps - Political Mayor Street supports “Teen Centers.” There are no “Teen Centers” in the Lower or Near Northeast. We are sending a letter to the Commissioner of the Recreation Department -Victor Noel Richard III - a copy of our Power Point presentation and a request to open a “Teen Center” in the Northeast. Based on our exit poll and survey findings, we are also asking for improved maintenance, safety and program funding for Recreation Centers throughout the City. We are sending copies of the Power Point presentation and a letter to City Council members who represent the Northeast: Council members Krajewski (6th Dist)., O’Neill (10th Dist.) and Mariano (7th Dist.) and newly elected at-large Councilmember Kelly asking for improvement in maintenance, safety and program funding. We are also asking for a “Teen Center” in the Northeast. We are going to ask for a meeting with the Council members or a representatives at Northeast High School in February to discuss our concerns. Next Steps: Community Service: Next Steps: Community Service Based on our student survey results, too few students are aware of recreation center programs. The students who are aware find out from friends; only 3% found information at school. Therefore, we are going to create a public service announcement to broadcast at Northeast High School during Advisory (homeroom) to publicize local recreation center programs. We will also make a flyer with the Recreation Department’s web site which is a useful tool for finding out about programs. We are going to ask Recreation Center directors if they need student volunteers. We are required to complete 20 hours of community service per year. We will work with the Recreation Center directors to recruit Northeast student volunteers. Slide27: Recreation centers are part of a healthy city and community. To change the image of wrecked centers into recreation centers, we can start by informing and pressuring elected officials, informing students about the programs, and offer to volunteer to improve the neighborhood centers. We also hope to be part of establishing a “Teen Center” in the near Northeast.