SHU to Launch “Go Play!” Parks Passport Program in Bridgeport

News Story: October 13, 2014

On November 8, 2014, Sacred Heart University, joined by the Bridgeport Parks and Recreation Department and Bridgeport libraries, will host a kickoff event for a new community program to promote physical activity and park use among Bridgeport families. The project, titled GO PLAY! Parks Passport, is funded by the Richard and Barbara Naclerio Faculty Scholars program that supports research conducted by SHU professors. The launch will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park in Bridgeport in the large field adjacent to Discovery Magnet School.

The kickoff is open and free of charge to all Bridgeport families and will take place rain or shine.  Some of the fun highlights will include children’s games, face painting, health screenings for all ages, book readings and giveaways and the Snappy Dawg food truck. Participants will also receive their own free copy of the GO PLAY! parks passport.

The GO PLAY program invites passport users to visit eight Bridgeport parks. Once at each park, passport holders use clues provided in the passport to explore the park and find a GO PLAY! stone post. When they find the post, they use that park’s passport page and post to reveal a fun fact about the park. Then passport users place the passport page over the top of the post and, using a crayon or pencil, make a rubbing to transfer the post image to the passport page, which creates a Parks Passport stamp. Suggestions are also provided for fun play in the park.

Once a family completes its passport, they drop it off at one of the Bridgeport Public Libraries by April 30, 2015. Everyone who completes a passport and turns it in by that date will be entered into a drawing to win one of two age-appropriate bicycles.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Sacred Heart in providing kids and families access to these fun activities in our parks,” said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch. “From Seaside to the newly reopened Pleasure Beach, the Park City has some of the most beautiful parkland in the country. And, it’s a top priority of mine to ensure that kids and families in Bridgeport are active and healthy. This program helps do just that. It’s a win-win for the city. Thanks to Sacred Heart for helping to make this program possible.”

“We are pleased to collaborate with the City of Bridgeport and encourage area families to be physically active, which in turn enhances both physical and mental health in persons of all ages,” said program coordinator Anna E. Greer, assistant professor in SHU’s exercise science program in the Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Science.