Group Revitalizes Johnstown Playground

August 11, 2016, By Dave Sutor, Johnstown Tribune-Democrat

There was a big ol’ party – with hot dogs and pizza, tennis and Frisbee tossing, music and laughter – at the Wood Street Playground in Johnstown’s Hornerstown neighborhood on Wednesday.

The celebration culminated a summer-long program called the Wood Street Playground Takeover, during which mentors worked every Monday and Wednesday with children, teaching them about games, life, friendship and much more.

About 40 children on average attended every day.

It was sponsored by the Coaches 4 Kids Foundation and Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies

“It’s really been a pleasant experience for me because – I’ll tell you – our goal from the Coaches 4 Kids Foundation and Goodwill GoodGuides is to get kids off the streets and into a structured program, and hopefully that they get something out of this: good manners, being good citizens, giving back to people who give to you,” said Tony Penna Sr., from Coaches 4 Kids.

All total, the volunteers invested many hours and about $1,000 for equipment in the project.

They hope to expand the activities to other playgrounds next year.

“We’d like to really see the playground program come back where we could hire teens to be there as counselors,” said Cindy O’Connor, youth coordinator and program manager for GoodGuides.

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.

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