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Publication Date


Community Preceptors

Meg Wise, Naomi Roberson

Academic Preceptors

Oliver Bullock, DO, Ronald Allen, MHA, Mary Kate McGinty, RPH, MS


Philadelphia, PA


Physical Activity & Fitness, Oral Health, Maternal, Infant & Child Health, Heart Disease & Stroke, Nutrition & Weight Status


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Maternal and Child Health | Public Health Education and Promotion


Project Goal and Strategies

  • To develop strategies to teach caregivers that play is an essential and critical part of all children’s development
  • To introduce local area caregivers to Smith Playground
  • Built relationships with various community recreation centers, health centers, and social agencies focusing on North Philadelphia neighborhoods near or within reach of Smith Playground
  • Designed “play pods”, interactive play tables with toys, easy DIY crafts for children to play with while the parents receive information from the interns about the importance of play
  • Children experimented with homemade bean bags and play-dough made from everyday materials that demonstrate the ease of playing without having to go into debt
  • At both the play pods and Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse, the interns also conducted surveys regarding the caregiver’s views about the impact of play

Personal Statements

“Working with BTG and Smith has shattered my previous notions of what kind of neighborhoods are in North Philadelphia. I’ve learned the resilience of its residents, the willingness to improve childhood experiences for its children, and the openness to change in order to improve the quality of life. The singlestory that North Philadelphia is an area to stay away from has a new layer to it; North Philadelphia is a community that is working hard to make changes to pull itself up to make life better for all of its residents. Its a work in progress that I am so grateful to have been a part of.” – Nicole Viray

“This summer BTG has provided a unique interdisciplinary experience that not only educated me about the Philadelphia community, but about myself. As a student of the University of the Sciences, I usually do not venture out of University City. It has been eye opening to work with the community of North Philadelphia and learn about their socioeconomic needs. The Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse provided us with an inspiring experience that will resonate with me throughout my career as a health care provider.” – Amanda Mastrogiovanni

Play is Child's Work: Play Pods Invade North Philadelphia to Put Children to Work