Building youth and community through sport and play

Project Play

Every summer, we present Project Play, which claims underutilized space in Little Village by providing recreational activities for kids and their parents. Every Tuesday, hundreds of people gather at the Gary/Ortiz school campus, at 31st and Lawndale to play basketball,soccer, t-rex tag, kickball, and much more. Ropes are jumped, hula hoops revolved and faces painted. Individuals and families forge a stronger community through shared activity. Project Play was also honored by Beyond sport with the Most Courageous Use of Sport Award at the Beyond Sport Summit, in 2010, from over 400 entries from 120 countries around the world! Beyond Sport is a London-based organization that recognizes non-profits using sport for social good, and Beyond the Ball is honored to have been the first-ever U.S. based recipient of this award. The community impact of Project Play has been quite noticeable locally as well. A space once dominated by gangs is now controlled by families--the space has been reclaimed for positive use. Though surrounding areas are still heavily tagged by gangs, the graffiti has been greatly reduced on the school campus. This play space that was historically known as a place of conflict is now a place where community residents regularly play. Special thanks to the support we received from the Dave Bolland Foundation and the Finish Line Youth Foundation, who helped make this year's Project Play a huge success! Check out the video below to see what Project Play looks like and you can see more images on our facebook page.

When is Project Play?

Throughout June and July, Project Play takes place on the Gary/Ortiz school campus at 31st and Lawndale from 5pm to 8pm.

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