On Sunday September 19th 2010, I took a trip to Mccloskey play ground and school located in the east Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. John F. Mccloskey elementary school currently educates children in Mt. Airy from kindergarten to grade five.
The recreation center and playground are open to all Mt. Airy residents, not just those who have children attending the school. The recreation center provides services like peewee football, and little league basketball for the youth. They have summer programs and host off site educational and recreational trips for the community. They also provide evening fitness classes for those in the community trying to get or stay healthy.
The playground which features a smaller playground for toddlers, a larger play area for the older children, a basketball court, and a football field is often misused by the older crowds. During my visit yesterday I walked the grounds and noticed shattered glass particles on the ground, cigarette butts, tobacco wrapping papers, old beer bottles, and graffiti covered walls. In addition to the dangerous objects around the playground there was also an older crowd of men sitting on a bench directly across from the jungle gym partaking in drug and alcohol use, and playing a game of dice.
Instead of a play ground and a safe haven, the play area at John F. Mccloskey Elementary school resembles a danger zone, and the community must do something to clean it up and protect our children who play there.
By Chanaira Howell & Teresa Hatch