ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Healthi Kids and community partners are teaming up to repurpose, reclaim, and restore play to public spaces across Rochester in the fifth annual “PlayROCs Your Neighborhood” event.
On Friday, August 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. all residents are welcome to stop by one of the 50 pop-up locations around the city.
There, they will find kickball, jump rope, water balloons, chalk, bubbles, and more, according to event organizers.
To find a full list of participating locations, click here.
“We’ve waited two years for the return of this community-wide event due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jenn Beideman, Advocacy Manager of Healthi Kids. “Every child deserves to live in a neighborhood where they can play and feel safe. By supporting the children of Rochester through the benefits of play, we’re working to improve their mental, physical, emotional, and social health.”
In addition to the PlayROCs event, representatives with Healthi Kids said they reached out to several organizations and asked them to envision a support plan for childhood education that promotes play.
Respondents said they would like to see more opportunities for learning outside of the classroom, learning with play embedded into the daily curriculum, and a spotlight on mental health and well-being.
“With the rise of online learning and social isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, families became even more concerned than ever about their children’s lack of play opportunities,” Beideman said. “The information gathered in the report indicates that playful learning should be prioritized to support children’s mental health and well-being following pandemic-related trauma.”
Healthi Kids is a grassroots coalition and Common Ground Health Initiative founded in 2008, funded by the Greater Rochester Health Foundation, the Rochester Area Community Foundation, and the New York State Department of Health. They work to bring about legislative changes that foster the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of children from birth to age 8.
Healthi Kids focuses on advocacy and change for children throughout both the City of Rochester and the Finger Lakes region.