Chicago Giving Kids A Chance to "Play."

Chicago Giving Kids A Chance to "Play."

Here’s a crazy fact. Today in America, one in five kids doesn’t have access to a playground – that’s millions of children who can’t pick up a ball, run outside or have fun in a safe environment. According to a press release from the Active Transportation Alliance.

These kids are unable to get out and “play.”

Luckily More Play Streets events are planned for the Chicago area with the help of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and Parthership for Helathier America.

The events are planned for Chicago neighborhoods that lack safe and open spaces for kids to play.

Spearheaded in Chicago by the Chicago Department of Public Health through a public-private partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, the program’s original funder, Play Streets is a citywide initiative that secures city neighborhood streets to provide Chicago families with open and safe spaces to get active.

“As many different partners work to make healthy lifestyles as accessible as possible, we need to remember that keeping kids active often isn’t a secret – they just need safe places to be kids,” said Andres Alvear, Active Trans’ Director of Education and Outreach. “A PlayStreet provides a place for them to do just that, and it leverages Chicago’s existing infrastructure. It’s inexpensive, accessible and, most importantly, fun for the whole community.”

Several new events are planned for 2013, click here to find out when and where Play Streets will be happening.

Chicago was one of the pioneer cities for Play Streets, proving when kids are given the chance to get outside and do something as simple as “playing catch,” or dancing, or staying inside and doing more sedentary things, the majority of the kids chose the active play option.

Partnership for a Healthier America President and CEO Lawrence A. Soler. “We’re thrilled that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and its Chicago partners are proactively tackling this challenge by continuing Play Streets events. We can’t wait to see the national initiative in action – to see kids running around in these spaces and to hear sounds of traffic replaced by sounds of kids at play.”

Click here to learn more about Play Streets, where they will be next and how you can help kids “play.”

Parts from press release.

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