Friday, February 27, 2009

Child Safety Tip Sheets and Movie Watching

We are planning to do a family movie night tonight. There is too much rain to go the playground despite the nice warm-up we have. I did come across this posting by the PTA/PTO regarding safe movie watching.

There’s a lot of hype surrounding this year’s Oscar season and the fascinating movies that made it into theatres and homes.While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences works to promote great cinema and a connection with the public audience, PTA is working to provide families a way to connect and interact together in their movie-viewing habits.Whether it’s planning a family movie night, or addressing issues such as age-appropriate content and piracy, PTA has compiled a Media and Technology Safety Tip Sheet for Movies.For a downloadable copy, visit

Friday, February 20, 2009



On Friday, February 27, 2009, Governor Ted Strickland will visit Brunswick High School and deliver remarks related to his education reform package for Ohio Schools.

The Governor will address the audience at the Brunswick High School Performing Arts Center at 1:45 PM. His presentation is scheduled to last until 2:10 PM.

We are honored to be the district in Medina County selected for the Governor’s visit. His presentation in the Performing Arts Center (located in the rear of Brunswick High School) is open to the public. There are no tickets for admission.

Please consider this as your invitation to join us in welcoming Governor Strickland to Brunswick. We encourage anyone who has an interest in the future of public education in Ohio to attend.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Significant Legislative Victory for Parks and Recreation

Significant Legislative Victory for Parks and Recreation in Provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The final conference report for the American Recovery and Investment Act issued late last night by the House and Senate Conference Committee did NOT contain language that had been included in the Senate version prohibiting the use of stimulus funds for community parks.
Working late into the night of February 11, and throughout the next day as well, House and Senate conferees worked to reconcile two very different versions of the stimulus bill. A ripper amendment by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) submitted on February 6, had specified that: "no funds in the bill can be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, art center, and highway beautification project."
Not surprisingly, the Senate swiftly approved the Coburn amendment by a vote of 73-24, likely because few of them wanted to be seen in the position of voting to allow stimulus funds to be spent on casinos or gambling establishments. However, spending on the very worthwhile and stimulative public sector categories that were specified in this amendment, including "community parks," would have also been prohibited.
NRPA advocates and allies swung into action with an all-out advocacy effort to stop this senseless prohibition from being enacted. Armed with facts and figures on the economic value of local parks and the direct benefits that would result in creating jobs and revitalizing local economies, NRPA advocates convinced Members of Congress and key Congressional staff of the merits of allowing spending of stimulus funds for community parks.
The final conference report language adopted by the Conference Committee states:
"None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available in this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, or swimming pool."
Thus, the final conference report ensures that funds in this bill will not be denied to park and recreation agencies for spending on community parks. Some prohibitions remained in the bill language and will thus prevent spending of stimulus funds on swimming pools, public golf courses, zoos, and aquariums, fortunately the final language did not prohibit inclusion of other categorical exclusions such as museums, theaters, and arts facilities, many of which are important park and recreation services to the public.
This was a significant and important victory for parks and recreation, and NRPA thanks the many allied organizations, citizen advocates, and our members for their exceptional efforts to see that funding for community parks was rightfully included in this economic recovery bill. Parks and recreation can and will play a vital role in helping to restore our national economic health and vitality

Thursday, February 12, 2009

James making assist with playground in Phoenix

I just saw this online. Thanks Lebron, playgrounds are important!

CLEVELAND (AP) — For the second straight year, LeBron James will make a big assist off the floor during All-Star weekend.
James will dedicate a state-of-the-art playground at the Robson Boys and Girls Club of Phoenix. Last season, James and his foundation teamed with State Farm on a similar project in New Orleans, where they installed at St. Bernard Recreation Center, devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
"A playground is an important place for kids to play, have fun, and hang out with friends and family," said James, who won his second All-Star MVP last year in New Orleans.
James has done similar charity work in his hometown of Akron, sponsoring a popular bike-a-thon and providing book bags and school supplies to needy families.

Hidden Dangers on Area Playgrounds

I saw this on MSNBC. Good to know!

Hidden Dangers on Area Playgrounds
FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- Kids can pick up a lot of things on the local playground. Dirty needles shouldn't be one of them.Police are warning parents in the Falls Church area to pay extra attention to their children at area parks and schools after several reports of children finding used needles.At least six used, hypodermic needles have turned up at Lincoln Park; several more have been discovered near the playground at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.Police have posted signs in the area asking parents to be on the lookout for the dangerous needles. They are also increasing patrols in the area.Parents say the discoveries make them uneasy."I have a 2-year-old who loves to run, especially in the bushes, so I have to be a little bit more careful when he goes in there now," Nora Hart said.Kim Levinson called news of the dirty needles shocking."You almost feel like you're in a cocoon in this neighborhood," Levinson said.Investigators don't know if the needles are dumped medical waste, or discarded drug paraphernalia. Either way, police say if you see one, stay away."We're asking for help and information. If you see anyone in the park after dark, or if you see a needle, call us and we can do a follow-up," Falls Church Deputy Police Cheif Mary Gavin said.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Call Your Senators TODAY and Ask Them to Oppose the Coburn Amendment That Prohibits Funding for Community Parks!

Call Your Senators TODAY and Ask Them to Oppose the Coburn Amendment That Prohibits Funding for Community Parks!

Contact your Senators and ask them to vote against Senator Coburn’s amendment. Contact your Senator by phone via the Senate switchboard at 202.224.3121 (To find your Senator, go to

On February 3, Senator Coburn (R-OK) submitted an amendment to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that would prohibit community parks from receiving money from programs funded by the bill. Specifically, this amendment would prohibit parks and recreation from receiving funding provided through various programs, including: CDBG funding, transportation infrastructure, special education services, childcare services, and community development block grant programs.

Mr. Coburn’s amendment specifically states:
“No funds provided by this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, arts center, or highway beautification project, including renovation, remodeling, construction, salaries, furniture, zero-gravity chairs, big screen televisions, beautification, rotating pastel lights, and dry heat saunas.”

Ask your Senator to vote against Senator Coburn’s amendment and request that funds in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act be used to support local and state park and recreation agencies.

We encourage you make these points with your Senator:

State and local park and recreation agencies provide benefits to communities and should not be precluded from funding.
State and local parks and recreational facilities are in disrepair in communities across America and have thousands of capital construction and capital maintenance projects that are “on-the-shelf” and ready to go.
These projects such as new roofs for community centers, irrigation systems for sport fields, repairs to bring facilities into ADA compliance, and electrical upgrades to park and recreation facilities would allow communities to preserve, rehabilitate and maintain the already existing infrastructure that provides numerous recreational opportunities for citizens.
Enhancing and restoring community parks and recreation resources increases quality of life, attracts new businesses and residents to communities, increases property values, and creates new employment opportunities.

Please let NRPA know if you contact your Senator, and what their response was, so we can continue our advocacy efforts. For questions or updates on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, please contact Becky Webb-Morser at or 202.887.0290.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Building a Playground as a Community

We at Snider & Associates, Inc. participate in and offer commercial playground equipment builds. It is like an old-fashioned barn-raising, you will understand the kinds of rewards that are gain from experiencing an activity that brings people together to work toward a common goal. Those who work on a community built playground project gain a sense of ownership and responsibility toward the finished project, and the pride felt by the volunteers in their accomplishment translates into pride toward the school or the community. Volunteers learn new skills, meet new people, enhance their sense of belonging and make an important connection to the community. When people work together in the spirit of cooperation for the benefit of the community as a whole, the outcome can only be a positive one, and the project a successful one.
To make a Community Built Playground successful remember the 5 P’s: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. The communication between playground representative and client is very important. These projects are not a simple task. We are constructing playground equipment that will be used by the public and/or school students. The majority of these projects will cost major fundraising dollars or a successful grant application. Plus these builds are typically done in one weekend to avoid disruptions in our busy work weeks. You want to get it right.
The list below is a few items of many to consider when building your community or school playground equipment. For detailed information please contact us to speak with your local representative.
1. All gas, water, electrical, cable and sprinkler lines are to be marked before any digging is started?

2. Check all documents to be sure equipment, measurements, top of surfacing and all information coincides?

3 How, where, and who will unload, store and secure the playground equipment and playground surfacing?

4 Are there clear written directions, specifications, and drawings to place and build the playground?

5. Can the construction site be accessed safely by the tractors, trucks, and other heavy equipment?

6. Is the ground level? Playgrounds are generally designed to sit on a level surface?

7. How and who will be responsible to secure the construction site from the public until after the cement has cured and the protective surfacing is installed?

8. Has the safety surfacing been scheduled to arrive as soon as the playground equipment concrete has been poured?

9. How will the footing dirt and or excavation dirt be disposed of?

10. How will packing and shipping waste materials be disposed of?

11. Where is the water, electricity and restrooms for the Volunteers?

Snider & Associates provides free playground design and planning services in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Pennsylvania to help get your vision of a community built playground up and running. Please call (800-888-2889) or visit our website ( for more information. We would be happy to chat, send a catalog, or have a lunch and learn.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Warm Sun sends the kids to the playground

I saw this article and it made me smile and want to get out on the playground.

It is supposed to hit 59 degrees tomorrow. I expect some coatless school children swinging on the school playground swings and enjoying a dry slide or two. I know my kids can't wait to get there bikes out, even if it is just for one day. My son asked me to get his bike out last week when we had 2 feet of snow EVERYWHERE. He will be happy to ride tomorrow.

I went for a jog today and felt the brisk air and how the sun was shining through to melt the last of the snow. I can't wait for tomorrow's run! Hopefully I will be feeling warm sun on my face and not the brisk, chill morning air.

See you in the playground!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Parks and Recreation NEW Show - Amy Poehler

I just got this emailed to me from a freind. It appears our parks and recreation industry is funny. We have our own show now. How do I get on the show!?