Police Athletic League's PLAYSTREETS brings free summer fun to New York City youth

Lauren Glassberg Image
Tuesday, July 11, 2023
Harlem streets turned into playgrounds to keep kids cool and safe
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Harlem streets are turned into playgrounds for children to play and stay safe.

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- Imagine a free summer camp in your own backyard.

West 119th Street was partially closed Tuesday for PLAYSTREETS, an annual summer event run by the Police Athletic League (PAL).

PAL provides outdoor activities for kids ages six to 16 to enjoy. The events include everything from athletics to arts and crafts.

"I like this place better than school," said one kid. "The rock climbing, the football, you get snacks for free."

There are dozens of PLAYSTREETS in the neighborhoods across the city, with at least one in each borough.

The program focuses on communities with high crime and poverty rates.

PAL also activates spaces at some NYCHA properties and a few homeless shelters to provide safe summer spaces for kids in those areas.

The kids are supervised, and the hope is they feel a connection to their community and the police.

Playstreets are operated between 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday. All kids ages six to 16 are welcome.

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