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This report is a thorough summary of the 1997 Playgrounds Program, with evaluations of activities and recommendations for future years. It also includes statistics. Transcripts follow each page image.

Playgrounds Director's Report-1997

Final Year-End Report
Director's Report
Playgrounds
1997

Diane Mallon
Director, Summer Playgrounds Program


 

Playgrounds Director's Report-1997-2

Program Information

There were 20 rotating sites (two-day and three-day sites) and 5 five-day sites. The age group of the drop-in locations was 5 to 13.

Five-day Sites:
Vale Community Centre / Limbrick Housing Community
Volunteer Pool Recreation Association
Current River Rink Shack
Oliver Road Community Centre
Ogden Community Centre

Two and Three-Day Rotational Sites:

Monday/Wednesday/Frday Sites:
Castlegreen
North End Recreation
Windsor Street Housing Community
Cherryridge Park
North McIntyre Recreation
John Street Housing Community
Vickers Park
West Thunder Community Centre
South Neebing Community Centre
Wayland Park

Tuesday/Thursday Sites:
County Park
John Kusznier Park
Blucher Park
River Terrace Park
John Jumbo Community Centre
Academy Housing Community
Wilson Street Park
Tarbutt Park
North Neebing Community Centre
Edgewater Park School

Hours of Operation:
Mondays: 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Tuesdays to Fridays: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Staff Information:
Director: April 28 - August 22
6 Specialists: May 20 - August 22
32 Playleaders: June 23 - August 15
2 Junior Developers: June 23 - August 15
2 Spare Staff
4 Super Sport Leaders

Specialists:
1. Arts/Crafts/Drama/Puppetry/Volunteers
2. Sports/Games/Park Guests/Health and Safety
3. Special Events/Canada Day/Fund Raising
4. Supplies/Super Special Requisitions
5. Marketing/Media Promotion
6. Youth Super Sports Program

#3, 4, and 5 had six staff
#6 had four staff
#1 and 2 had seven staff (each has six Leaders and one Junior Leader)

See Job Descriptions in Job Areas Section - Director's Binder 1997


 

Playgrounds Director's Report-1997-3

Specialist Areas

The six Specialist areas are briefly outlined below. Please see each corresponding binder for more details and specific job descriptions.

Special Events:

Our Special Events Specialists planned three special events. One formal special event was planned where all sites participated; the other two were planned by the Leaders and each park went on their own.

The first special event took pace on two days: Wednesday, July 22nd and Thursday, July 23rd. The special event was titled Jurassic Jamboree and was held at Centennial Park. The day started at 9:30 a.m. and ended between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. (depending when the buses got to the sites). The Specialist organized eight rotational activities, most planned according to a dinosaur theme. At the end of the day everyone had freezies before they got on the bus to return to the sites.

The second special event was the Cool-In-The-Pool Day. All parks planned to go to community pools for the afternoon. This was an optional event.

The final event was Ton-Of-Fun Day. The Specialist organized schedules that Leaders could select to do with the kids at each park. The scheduled plans included a trip to Centennial Park, a trip to Gammondale Farm and a bus ride to either Marina Park or Victoriaville, where Leaders chose activities to do in the area.

* For additional information, see the Special Events Binder. The Specialist's Binder  has detailed descriptions and recommendations of all the Special Events.

Sports and Games / Arts and Crafts

These two Specialists worked together to create Resource Binders for each Leader. After they had created a binder for each Leader, they added resource ideas to some of the sections in each binder. Each binder had the following sections: Arts and Crafts, Sports and Games, Music, Science, and Drama. Throughout the summer, the Specialists presented new ideas at some Monday Morning meetings and asked Leaders to add the photocopied instructions to each section. Next year, the Specialists should just have to add more instructional sheets to each section because all the binders are created now. We spent money this year to create binders for each Leader.

Health and Safety:

The Health and Safety Specialist (Sports and Games Specialist) was responsible for doing an inventory of the first aid supplies, purchasing first aid supplies and suntan lotion, and packing first aid supplies. The Specialist was also responsible for ensuring everyone had their Standard First Aid Certificate. A copy of each Standard First Aid Certificate was kept in the Specialist's Binder.

Supplies:

The Leaders planned for two weeks at a time; therefore, supplies were distributed four times during the summer. Requisition Sheets were returned to Leaders (in their supply bags). The majority of supplies are stored at Grandview. The Specialist packs the bags at Grandview and then brings them over to Ogden where Leaders pick them up at Monday Morning meetings. This Specialist also did the Super Special Requisitions. We also had a supply cart in the office containing basic supplies such as tape, glue, paint, masking tape, string, construction paper, etc. Leaders got to take these supplies weekly either before the meeting started or after it was finished. We kept the supplies limited to inexpensive supplies so that the cart did not have to be monitored while Leaders took supplies. We did ask that Leaders only take what was needed.  


 

Playgrounds Director's Report-1997-4

Volunteers:

The Volunteer Specialist was in charge of recruiting and training volunteers specifically for our program. We decided each park over 16 children should have a volunteer, but this was quite often difficult to do. For Special Events, the ratio was one Leader to six children; therefore, if parks had more than 12 children, they needed a volunteer. The Specialist had a training session for volunteers one week before Leader Training and invited Leaders to some of the Leader Training. Volunteers were welcome to Monday Morning meetings and were invited to our Year-End meeting. Volunteers were responsible for completing and submitting time sheets. Leaders were responsible for evaluating the volunteers. During the first Monday Morning meeting, the Specialist explained to the Leaders what the role of a volunteer is and what the Leader's role is when working with a volunteer.

Super Sports:

This was the third summer for the Super Sports Program. (I believe we achieved what we've been working towards for the past two summers!) This summer, we only had organized clinics instead of having drop-in sites and it was very successful. The Super Sports program had four staff who helped in the planning and implementation of the clinics. The Specialist organized the clinics early in order to advertise them with the codes for registration on the flyer that is delivered to all the schools. Children had to pre-register to attend the clinics. We had some clinics that involved a fee and some clinics that were free. Some of the clinics offered were tennis, soccer, football, hockey, rollerblading, basketball, and karate. All of the clinics were full and many had waiting lists. In some cases, we had to offer extra clinics where it was possible.  

Marketing and Promotion:

This year the Specialist worked very closely with Printing & Graphics to design one of the most creative flyers we've ever  had. The flyer had details about our Drop-in Programs, the Special Events, and the Super Sports Clinics. The flyer was distributed to all elementary schools and was one of the best forms of promoting our program.  We also promoted our program through Public Service Announcements, Community Clipboard, and by inviting TBT News, the Post and the Chronicle Journal out to our Leader Training, Special Events and the Drop-in sites. The Specialist also arranged for TBT News to videotape the kids at Volunteer Pool Community Centre to play on Thunder Bay Images. As a promotional tool and to create an awareness among children, the Specialist organized a Kids Helping Kids campaign. She had the Leaders and kids collect coins for the Children's Wish Foundation (we raised $100.00), do a park clean-up, and make a quilt piece that represented the program. The Specialist sewed all the quilt pieces together to create one quilt piece and donated it to the children's ward at the Port Arthur General Hospital. This was a great campaign.

Policies and Procedures:

Discipline Policy:

Once again, this summer we used a Behaviour Management Plan from the Lakehead Public Board of Education. It is called Tribes and it focues on treating others with respect and working cooperatively. We had Myrna Anderson, a Tribes Trainer from the Lakehead Board, present the information on Tribes. Myrna briefly explained the history and philosophy of Tribes and explained the four Community Agreements that we used on the park. She also did a lot of activities fostering cooperation and teamwork that could be used on the park. The four Tribes Community Agreements are as follows: 1) Attentive Listening, 2) Apprecation/No Put Downs, 3) The Right to Pass/The Right to Participate, and 4) Mutual Respect. Tribes promotes working together, encourages the development of respect for one another, and promotes a positive social environment. The Community Agreements are only a part of the Tribes process, but it was a successful part of our program. The Leaders informed children of the Agreements and posted a list at the sites. A great deal of positive feedback was received from the Leaders in regards to using the four Agreements at the sites.

Rainy Day Policy 1997:

All playgrounds with indoor facilities remain OPEN regardless of the weather.
Those playgrounds without shelter close during rain and the Leaders proceed to their partner sites which have shelter. Therefore, when it begins to rain, Leaders close the original site and immediately proceed to their partner site. The children should be encouraged to attend any of the rainy day sites, provided their parents have been informed and they have their own transportation. When the rain stops, Leaders are to go directly back to their original site. If it looks like it is going to continue to rain throughout the day, the Leaders can stay at the rain site.


 

Playgrounds Director's Report-1997-5

Leaders must keep Head Staff informed of there whereabouts if they have closed their site. If it is raining first thing in the morning, Leaders go to their partner site and inform Head Staff where they are.

 

Park Sites  Rain Sites 
Castlegreen Park  Castlegreen Rink Shack 
County Park  County Park Rink Shack 
Current River Park  Current River Rink Shack 
North End Recreation Centre  North End Rink Shack 
John Kusznier Park  John Kusznier Community Centre 
Cherry Ridge  John Jumbo Community Centre 
River Terrace Park  John Jumbo Community Centre 
Oliver Road Community Centre  Oliver Road Community Centre 
Ogden Community Centre  Ogden Community Centre 
Vickers Park  Tarbutt Rink Shack 
North Neebing Community Centre  North Neebing Community Centre 
South Neebing Community Centre  South Neebing Community Centre 
Tarbutt Park  Tarbutt Rink Shack 
Edgewater Park School  Vale Community Centre 
Wayland Park  Wayland Rink Shack 
John Jumbo Community Centre  John Jumbo Community Centre 
Vale Community Centre  Vale Community Centre 
Volunteer Pool  Volunteer Pool 
Blucher Park  Windsor Street Housing 
North McIntyre Community Centre  North Mcintyre Community Centre 
West Thunder Community Centre  West Thunder Community Centre 
Windsor St. Housing  Windsor St. Housing 
John Street Housing  John Street Housing 
Academy Housing  Academy Housing 

Child Abuse: See Director's Binder - Policies and Procedures or Leader Training Binder

Playleader Year-End Evaluation 1997

The following are comments directly from Leader evaluations:

Special Activities:

Kids Helping Kids:
- totally important and useful
- kids took a lot of time to think about how lucky they are
- start collecting money and pop can tabs earlier
- quilt piece was very successful
- great week, kids learned that not everyone is as fortunate as them and they felt good about helping
- awesome, it worked out well
- it is super to see people making a special effort to make others who are less fortunate feel better
- quilt was great idea, pop can tabs was great, coin collection didn't work
- great idea to give quilt to hospital
- kids loved being a part of the campaign
- good idea, but takes away from regular planning; too much effort
- colouring contest and pop can tabs collection good, coin collection didn't work, quilt too difficult for kids
- have more activities for parks to do
- quilt was excellent but maybe provide more supplies specifically for the quilt
- promote it earlier in the summer
- Vale's car wash was an awesome idea
- quilt idea great; however, kids didn't think so


Playgrounds Director's Report-1997-6

Park Guests:
- loved the pipe band and multicultural centre
- flyers were great
- guests cancelled
- not prepared for one guest, but it was great
- thankful to have guests at park
- very good; however, if guest can't make it, have a backup plan so kids don't get disappointed
- super; especially Lila Cano
- Lila Cano, line dancers and multicultural group were great
- it would be great to have three
- no more Whiskey Jacks; they don't show up
- enjoyed puppet show, but would have liked more guests
- have more, because kids always like new people to listen to
- Animal Services was good
- Neighbourhood Police great
- the one time the Whiskey Jacks did make it, they were great
- never had any and that's not good
- Super Sports were great with kids
- Senator Hawkeye was not good (he showed up late and stayed for 10 minutes, and didn't show up at our other park)

Cool-In-The-Pool Days:
- fun, kids had a good time
- kids loved the swimming
- well-organized, but kids need a longer time to swim
- loved these days
- great, very well organized
- kids love swimming
- one of the kids' favourite activities
- awesome, two for 5-day sites is really better
- V.P. should be allowed to go to other pools (Complex)
- excellent
- zoning of the parks was a good idea and allowing flexibility for some parks makes it really good
- maybe arrange for a 20-minute lesson and divide skill levels into three groups - this might make kids more comfortable
- maybe have more because the kids love them and they're not a big hassle
- liked the fact that parks had certain places to go; it made planning simpler

Ton-Of-Fun Days:
- Gammondale hike too long
- awesome; kids loved it
- went well and kids enjoyed it
- enjoyed trip to Chippewa
- great with the structure we had this year; the options we had were good and the kids liked them
- it was a good idea to have things planned out; it was helpful
- Chippewa Zoo and rides were fun
- always a big hit
- liked how days were planned out and organized; the "pick-a-package" idea was easier and seemed to work well
- good ideas, but having the freedom to choose whatever you do with your park (years past) is better (and sometimes cheaper)
- it was excellent but I don't think it was very well organized and explained to the Leaders - maybe this was because of the new format; I liked school buses and the package idea
- packages offered made it quick and easy to choose activity
- I think the attempt to simplify things actually made it more confusing
- great, but a rain plan should be made so the kids don't get disappointed when Gammondale cancels


 

Playgrounds Director's Report-1997-7

 

Parks  Days of Operation per Week  Average # of Children Per Hour  Average # of Visits Per Day  Total # of Visits  Compared to 1996 - Less than + More Than 
Castlegreen  2.43  11.8  82.6  1405.0  -702.5 
County Park  2.0  7.5  52.5  735.0  -715.4 
North End  2.43  19.3  135.1  2298.1  +166.7 
John Kusznier  2.0  7.3  51.1  715.4  -274.4 
Windsor  2.43  12.6  88.2  1500.3  -35.7 
Blucher  2.0  9.2  65.1  911.4  -117.6 
Cherry Ridge  2.43  13.3  93.1  1583.6  +381.0 
River Terrace  2.0  11.3  79.1  1107.4  +88.2 
North McIntyre  2.43  12.0  84.0  1428.8  +59.5 
John Jumbo  2.0  11.0  77.0  1078.0  +186.2 
John Street  2.43  6.9  48.3  821.6  -190.5 
Academy  2.0  8.3  58.1  813.4  -9.8 
Vickers  2.43  14.6  102.2  1738.4  +392.9 
Wilson  2.0  7.7  53.9 754.6  +39.2 
West Thunder  2.43  12.2  85.4  1452.7  -452.4 
Tarbutt  2.0  12.8  89.6  1254.4  -450.8 
South Neebing  2.43  15.3  107.1  1821.8  +23.8 
North Neebing  2.0  15.6  109.2  1528.8  N/A 
Wayland  2.43  13.9   97.3 1655.1  N/A 
Edgewater  2.0   8.1 56.7  793.8  -186.2 
Volunteer Pool  4.43  37.5  262.5  8140.1  +282.2 
Vale  4.43  19.2  134.4  4167.7  -564.4 
Current River  4.43  9.8  68.6  2127.3  -1454.4 
Oliver Road  4.43  28.2  197.4  6121.4  +1997.1 
Ogden  4.43  17.6  123.2  3820.4  N/A 
        Total:
49774.5 
 

 


 

 

Playgrounds Director's Report-1997

- Rain Sites - once a park goes to a rain site, they should stay at the site for the remainder of the day because it is hard for parents to be driving children back and forth between parks all day
- WMM's are very useful and are a good way to know what is going on and to discuss concerns or problems
- possibly, more than one week to wrap things up in the office would be better - this would allow for more discussions concerning changes for the future
- try to use Summer Camps' or Youth Zone's van to transport supplies at the beginning of the summer and at the end of the summer (and, if possible, throughout the summer)
- at MMM, let Leaders discuss discipline scenarios they have encountered in the past week to give Leaders ideas of how to deal with difficult situations
- Ice Breakers in Specialist meetings are an excellent idea

Head Staff Year End Meeting:

The following information was gathered during the Year-End meeting. The information outlines recommendations, comments, and suggestions about many topics within the Playgrounds Program.

District Housing:
- need to have strong Leaders who have been with the program and who really know the policies
- providing funding for Ton-of-Fun Days worked well
- hiring within District Housing Units - because funding comes from the government, they are funding for the positions and they ask that staff is hired within District Housing areas - find out if this will still have to happen
- kids come out of the woodwork when there is good programming
- keep one Specialist with District Housing sites
- 3 and 4-year-olds - try to get parents to come out and volunteer; need Leaders who are not afraid to tell parents the reasoning behind our policy
- if it happens again next year, meet with some of the parents to come up with ideas to get parents out to volunteer

Specialist's Role:
- when supervising two new Leaders together or even a second-year Leader with a first year leader, the Specialist needs to take a bigger role in teaching/guiding/coaching and making sure that the Leaders are comfortable with their jobs.

Leaders:
- have each Leader do a write-up about themselves to photocopy and hand out to kids/parents introducing themselves

Baby-sitting Service Issue
Issue: Parents are using the program as a baby-sitting service
Problems:
- dropping child off at 9:30 a.m. and picking up at 5:00 p.m.
- when it rains - have to call parents and often they aren't home
- someone should be checking up on kids
- parents aren't available
- "I can't pick up my child because I'm at work" - parents aren't available for dealing with situations
- neglect
- Leaders are going to have a lot to deal with, with the kids who are there the whole day
- kids are crabby; maybe more behaviour problems
- Leaders aren't getting a break
- if we closed parks at lunch, the kids would probably continue to stay at the park
- why are Leaders not leaving for the 1/2 break at lunch?
- what about sites that have a high number of kids that stay for lunch?
- get parent-volunteers to supervise during lunch hour
- bottom line - kids will be at site even if Leaders aren't - we will always have the baby-sitting issue
- need to train Leaders to be assertive in making sure there are emergency contacts
- give Leaders the "What If's" - what happens when parent is working or not available and the child is not feeling well, causing a disruption?
- talk to Leaders about taking lunch - make sure that they do 


 

Playgrounds Director's Report-1997-9

- a condition of the program is that someone always has to be available for a contact
- enforce this, and make sure Leaders understand it - "Assertiveness Training"
- Staff, Leaders, Specialists have to be firm when dealing with incidents, terminology, what to say

Sites:
- possible sites: Dease, Franklin Street, Vickers Heights, Stanley, Northwood Area - get rid of Edgewater
- V.P. - parents will drive them to this site; Carrick park as a possibility; big, spacious, awesome park; would be hard to have a boundary at V.P.; need strong Leaders and Volunteers
- Windsor/Blucher are very close, two blocks apart: either keep Windsor as a 3-day and open another site, or walk to Blucher to use the field and equipment

Four-Year-Olds Policy:
- policy is pretty clear
- Leaders need to be able to say "no"
- "you are welcome to come with your child and participate in the program"
- what do you do when parents are pushy and stay pushy?
- give a flyer advertising programs for 4-year-olds (Our Kids Count)
- put on all of our flyers about the policy (ads in the "Key")
- guardian has to be 14 years old

T-Shirt Logo Ideas
- ideas - children, smiles, arts and crafts
- hire graphics
- get Lila Cano to design something
- stick people jumping around
- get kids to buy t-shirts with the new logo

Facilities/Contact Houses
- sometimes hard getting a contact house
- bit of a hassle, but can deal with it
- cell phones/port a potties are out there

Ton-of-Fun Days
- Joe did a lot of extra work and then they expected all of it to be planned
- give ideas to them and get them to call different locations
- maybe have a Guidelines Sheet, i.e., cost needs to be less than $__; parks shouldn't spend a lot of time on the bus
- extra workload made it hard because everything happened at once
- if the Leaders plan it themselves, then they can't complain
- Leaders assumed that Joe was going to plan all the activities
- if enough want to go to Chippewa, get a bus; but otherwise everyone can do what they want
- structure - maybe too much this year, we should look at middle ground - set up boundaries, i.e. what geography, cost, etc.
- let Leaders do it with certain limitations and then Specialists need to check the days to make sure everything is OK
- can parents drop off kids to different locations?
- cost should not be more than $6.00
- P.A. parks shouldn't be going across town on a city bus
- maybe get some choices from the Leaders and then talk about the options and who would need a bus
- maybe during a MMM, or Training, have time to plan the Fun Day together


Playgrounds Director's Report-1997-10

- need the structure still, but it seems that the Leaders didn't quite understand
- Leader expected to be led by the hand
- communication should be better
- need to force the Leaders to plan the activities and make them understand
- have all activities planned and pick one Head Staff member to buy supplies only
- workload - Special Event next year will be a week earlier because of the Boy Scouts' Jamboree that took place this summer
- having a Mastercard will help

Time Off Policy
- check with Human Resources for details
- can we ask for a doctor's note for one day?
- funerals
- weddings
- has to be notice for staff
- absenteeism: Attendance Management; supervisor meets with employee (if it is a big deal) and explains what happens when employee is absent
- talk to Leaders during training
- have a Perfect Attendance award
- if you hear the staff is doing other stuff, when they have called in sick, then you need to confront them
- have two, or more, floaters

Supplies:
- face paints for Canada Day
- utility  balls
- waterslides - big orange tarps are better; get a medium size, 30' long

Year-End Meeting
- break up - talk during mornings or afternoons, but not all day


 

Title: Final Year End Report - Playgrounds 1997
Date: 1997
Creator: Dianne Mallon
Series: CS299, Program Planning & Administration Files
Location: 26-03-01-05