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REACH System

REACH is Philadelphia Parks & Recreation's youth development system that includes its: After School, Summer Day Camp and Youth Workforce programs. The REACH system offers wellness services to youth designed to promote an appreciation for the environment and outdoors, athletics and sports, the arts and establishing healthy habits through fitness.
The REACH system has four functions: (1) Program Development designed to offer intentional activities supporting wellness, (2) Capacity Building designed to meet the development needs of staff and volunteers, (3) Strategic Partnerships designed to focus on new business, partnership protocols and demands, and lastly (4) Performance Management designed to measure program effectiveness, youth impact and meet reporting needs.

REACH is defined as the ability to succeed in touching or seizing with an outstretched hand. From a youth development perspective, it’s the ability to connect to a young person in a developmental way. From a business community perspective, it’s a streamlined approach that makes it easier to partner and collaborate with the department regarding new and existing programming. REACH also describes PPR’s youth development priorities, and it serves as a metaphor for the “scale” and connection to communities.

What is wellness?

According to the National Wellness Institute, “wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.” PPR’s REACH system is designed to ensure Philadelphia’s youth live healthy physical, mental and emotional lifestyles. Programming through REACH will provide experiences that help structure and prepare youth to become well rounded, successful contributors in society.

How do we REACH youth in our programs?

PPR has always offered enriching and fun programming for youth. However, the REACH system offers a refreshing way of offering services for youth, with a 21st century spin. Youth who participate in an afterschool program, summer day camp, or who receive a summer job will experience structured services that support their development and overall wellness. REACH program areas include: (1) environmental awareness, (2) outdoor activities, (3) sports and athletics, (4) arts programming, and (5) fitness & healthy habits.

REACH Stages of Development (ACCESS + EXPOSURE = EXPERIENCE)

The REACH system will provide an intentional structure offering three developmental entry points for youth in grades K-12. Youth in grades (K-5) will have unlimited access to programming based on interest. Through REACH, programming staff will intentionally move elementary-age youth from access to experience. Middle school youth in grades (6-8) will participate in intentional exposure programs designed for youth to become competent in something new. Teenagers in grades (9-12) will participate in experiential skill-driven programs designed to have measurable results that impact the youth in a developmental way.

Building a Public Sector Workforce

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation has made an annual commitment to preparing teens and young adults (14-21) for careers within the Parks and Recreation system. Each year, thousands of teens and young adults are employed as seasonal workers to support PPR programming. As we prepare a 21st century workforce, PPR will continue to build public sector industry pipelines through our middle and high school programs that prepare young people to learn, earn and develop employable skills.

REACH Community Clusters

REACH community clusters are partnerships between facilities and afterschool programs that allow program staff to share resources, ideas and collaborations. These partnerships allow for more and better programming for youth within the communities they reside.