‘Kids To Be Kids’

City Parks Set As Focus Of Summer Program

From left, Ryan Whisner, city Summer Playground Program recreation leader; John Williams, city parks manager; Julia Ciesla-Hanley, city recreation coordinator; Tina Scott, James Prendergast Library executive director; Lisa Lynde, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation; and Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, at Chadakoin Park Thursday to announce the activities that will be happening during the city’s 2019 Summer Playground Program. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

The five sites for the 2019 Summer Playground Program will all be at city parks.

On Thursday, city officials announced the details of this year’s program at Chadakoin Park, which will be one of the locations. The other parks include Allen Park, Bergman Park, Lillian Dickson Tot Lot and Nordstrom Park.

Julia Ciesla-Hanley, city recreation coordinator, said the program will include a free lunch provided at each site by the Jamestown YMCA in conjunction with the St. Susan Center. The free lunch will be served between noon-1 p.m. at all five sites. Participating children will need to sign up each day in order to receive lunch for the following day. The meals will be available to children ages 18 and under.

The playground program is free of charge and will run from Monday, July 1, through Friday, Aug. 9. All sites will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program is geared for children between 5-13 years old. Children must register the first time they attend their playground site. They are free to come and go as they wish after that point. The Summer Playground Program is made possible through support from the city of Jamestown, Chautauqua County Youth Bureau, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and state Office of Children and Family Services.

Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, said city officials wouldn’t be able to host the Summer Playground Program without the sponsors.

“For a small amount in the city budget, this program delivers big dividends,” he said. “It’s important for kids to be kids.”

As in past years, there will be city-wide activities scheduled, including bowling, a talent show, carnival and the “Playground Olympics.” At the individual parks, there will be arts and crafts, and games such as mancala, kickball, box hockey and wiffle ball.

Equipment will be available at each playground site for the children to play with at any time.

The nature day field trip will feature a tree planting that will take place at Chadakoin Park.

Additionally, the city Parks & Recreation Department is collaborating again with the James Prendergast Library to offer the Summer Reading Program at all playground program sites.

Ryan Whisner of Jamestown will be serving his first year as the playground program recreation leader. He previously was a recreation attendant for the program. Whisner is a graduate of Jamestown High School and Jamestown Community College and will start his first year at State University of Buffalo majoring in communications. The staff will consist of 11 college-aged residents.

For additional information, please call the city recreation office at 483-7523.