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<v Unnamed Mom>I had 2 children attending school at PS 87. <v Unnamed Mom>And it's funny, the part of school that most kids <v Unnamed Mom>absolutely love, recess and lunch, <v Unnamed Mom>were the part they hated. We had 30 kids <v Unnamed Mom>on this asphalt desert supposedly having fun. <v Unnamed Mom>And with nothing to do, the first thing they started to do was run and chase one <v Unnamed Mom>another. When they ran, they fell and hurt themselves. <v Unnamed Mom>And then when they got tired of running and chasing one another, they ran to catch one <v Unnamed Mom>another. And then when they got tired of running to catch one another, they ran to hit <v Unnamed Mom>one another. And I don't blame her. <v Unnamed Mom>I would have hated going to the yard myself. <v Unnamed Mom>So I was reading Parent magazine and saw an article about <v Unnamed Mom>the Johnny Appleseed of playgrounds, Robert Leathers. <v Unnamed Mom>And it looked like such a great place for kids to play. <v Bob Leathers>Good morning. <v Class>Good morning. <v Bob Leathers>My name is Bob Leathers and I'm an architect. <v Bob Leathers>Now, what we're going to do first, why don't you just come right up here a little bit
<v Bob Leathers>closer so we can get a little closer? <v Bob Leathers>Here's been coming up here. That's good. That's good. <v Bob Leathers>OK. An architect, usually what does- usually what do architects <v Bob Leathers>design? What do they usually design? <v Unnamed child>They usually usually design a house. <v Bob Leathers>A house. That's right. So what am I designing today, though? <v Bob Leathers>What is it today? <v Unnamed child>You designed a playground. <v Bob Leathers>A playground indeed. I am designing a playground. I actually- want to know a secret? <v Bob Leathers>I'm really not designing the playground. <v Bob Leathers>There are several experts right here in New York who are really designing the playground. <v Bob Leathers>Who do you think they are? Who are the experts? <v Bob Leathers>Who are the designers? <v Unnamed child>Us. <v Bob Leathers>You are. All of you. You're the experts. <v Bob Leathers>I'm not an expert. I'm too big. I don't play in playgrounds. <v Bob Leathers>Your parents don't, your teachers aren't going to play in this playground, you're going <v Bob Leathers>to play on this playground.Also, because it's your playground, because <v Bob Leathers>you are the experts, you can have anything in the world on this playground. <v Bob Leathers>Anything in the world. <v Bob Leathers>Anything. Now it's like a big game of make believe. <v Bob Leathers>We make believe you can do anything in the world.
<v Bob Leathers>You could have anything in the world. <v Bob Leathers>What would you put on your playground for us? <v Bob Leathers>What do you want more than anything else? Now it's got to be safe. <v Bob Leathers>And somehow we've got to be able to build it. But if we can build it, you can have it. <v Bob Leathers>What would you have? <v Unnamed child>A water slide. <v Bob Leathers>A water slide? I don't think we can do a water slide, no. <v Bob Leathers>A water slide is really hard out there. <v Unnamed child>We have like a wooden roller coaster with swings on it and then we have a ladder to each swing, and then there would be swings on the roller coaster. <v Bob Leathers> That's a very neat idea. <v Bob Leathers>That's a neat idea. <v Bob Leathers>The roller coaster thing, serpentine thing with things hanging that move <v Bob Leathers>and can move as part of this rather than having a car move through <v Bob Leathers>it. So put down roller coaster with swinging pieces. <v Bob Leathers>OK? <v Unnamed child>Can we have like a monster? and on its tail it's a little tunnel and you go up the stairs and there's a little slide through the tongue and then you can just like slide through <v Unnamed child>the tongue? <v Bob Leathers>Through
<v Bob Leathers>the tongue of the monster? <v Unnamed child>Yeah. The tongue could be a slide. <v Bob Leathers>Monster and slide through the tunnel. OK. We may I'm not sure on that one that's <v Bob Leathers>possible. We may have a monster in your slide out the tongue of the monster. <v Bob Leathers>We'll see if we can. We may do that. OK. <v Bob Leathers>Yes. <v Unnamed child>A tree house. <v Bob Leathers>A tree house. I think we're gonna have a tree house, there. <v Unnamed man>We need tools and money. <v Bob Leathers>Yeah. Right. <v Unnamed man>I think we have some this way. <v Bob Leathers>Oh this way? OK. Hey, how you doing? <v Bob Leathers>There's the office. <v Unnamed administrator>Wait, wait. <v Unnamed administrator>They couldn't do it. I think it's alive on radio right now. <v Bob Leathers>Oh. <v Unnamed administrator>OK. So he's gonna call back in 3 minutes, his name is Feinberg <v Another unnamed administrator>You've got to say somewhere there was going to be depending on donations from people. <v Another unnamed administrator>OK, so they get that. <v Bob Leathers>I will say it. <v Another unnamed administrator>Great. <v Bob Leathers>I build about 320 in say, oh, about 28 <v Bob Leathers>different states I think now all over the United States. <v Interviewer>So you're always working with the kids when you do it? <v Bob Leathers>Oh yes. Oh yes. The whole process starts with the children. <v Bob Leathers>What happens is that it's important to the playground, their
<v Bob Leathers>individual playground. It becomes theirs and it's their design. <v Bob Leathers>But let me tell you, honestly from a selfish point of view, it's as important for me <v Bob Leathers>because it keeps tapping me into why I'm doing this to the source of what it's all about. <v Bob Leathers>If I just went back to my office and started drawing these things up, who become very <v Bob Leathers>stale after a while, but it never becomes stale doing it this way, you're always finding <v Bob Leathers>something new, like this roller coaster thing. <v Bob Leathers>You're always finding some new dinosaur to be explored some new dragon. <v Bob Leathers>I mean, it's really very, very special. <v Bob Leathers>And so that's why I do it as much as anything. <v Unnamed administrator>Ms. Hill's office. Hi, Mr. Feinberg, I have Mr. Leathers right here for you. <v Bob Leathers>Bob Leathers here, very good. It's <v Bob Leathers>amazing some of the things we heard. <v Bob Leathers>Frankly, we're gonna be able to include probably about 90 percent of what they came up <v Bob Leathers>with. I doubt if we're gonna be able to do the swimming pools and roller coasters that we <v Bob Leathers>heard, although actually I stand corrected, it was a second grader who came <v Bob Leathers>up with a new way to do a roller coaster that we may, in fact, even be doing a roller
<v Bob Leathers>coaster in this playground. <v Bob Leathers>The most frequent complaints we have is that they don't have any place to get <v Bob Leathers>away from the teachers. Now, what is happening is that we are <v Bob Leathers>listening to the children, for the most part, and maybe we'll even have places, cubbies, <v Bob Leathers>where they can sort of disappear. What they're really saying is they want their world. <v Bob Leathers>What they complain most about is that the parents, the adults have conceived the <v Bob Leathers>playground they're on. They want to design the playground. <v Bob Leathers>They want to create their own world and what they want on it. <v Bob Leathers>The next stage is we've got a core committee of adults that consist of parents, <v Bob Leathers>teachers, community people and a children's committee. <v Bob Leathers>This is a school that's different. <v Bob Leathers>This is a school that parents are very proud of, and this is just going to make it more <v Bob Leathers>so. This is going to be something exceptional you're going to do that is really going to <v Bob Leathers>be proud of if you can pull it off in the inner city, boy, I'm proud of you. <v Bob Leathers>It's not going to be easy. You've got a story. <v Bob Leathers>Boy, have you got a story. And your story is, hey, New <v Bob Leathers>York is alive and well, that's for sure. <v Bob Leathers>And it's more alive, it's more than just alive, it's kicking!
<v Bob Leathers>Look at it! look at what they're doing, and you think it can only happen in a rural town <v Bob Leathers>that people care? They care in the middle of New York City. <v Bob Leathers>And it's just the kids doing it. <v Bob Leathers>The kids are doing it with their parents and their grandparents and a public school is <v Bob Leathers>doing it. And I mean, you know, it's it's a great story if that gets in that newspaper, <v Bob Leathers>that's on their TV, and when you go to that service club and those ?inaudible?. <v Bob Leathers>Oh, yeah. We saw that on TV. Boy, it is amazing what doors that opens for you. <v Bob Leathers>The public relations for you is probably more important than any other area. <v Unnamed child>A lot of the kids in New York City or some kids <v Unnamed child>in the world haven't built- haven't ever built a <v Unnamed child>playground at all. And, you don't do it like every single day. <v Unnamed child>I think this is going to be the best playground in the world. <v Unnamed child>I think it's good. And what I would like, right over there, in the ?inaudible? park, there's no swing, and instead of there I would like a big huge castle where the kids can go <v Unnamed child>in, and the kings and queens have the meetings, the kids can sit in their places.
<v Bob Leathers>We are making making believe which is what we really doing saying you can have anything <v Bob Leathers>in the world. It's like make-believe. That's not being honest, <v Bob Leathers>that's merely making believe. <v Bob Leathers>But out of that will come new directions and new ideas that we've never built before. <v Bob Leathers>The liability on this one, the biggest one was the fact of the smallness, coupled with <v Bob Leathers>the fact they're doing to the inner city and used by all sorts of people and has <v Bob Leathers>to be open and it has to be easily cleanable. <v Bob Leathers>I think it's very important that these children don't only touch steel, plastic and all <v Bob Leathers>of these artificial materials. <v Bob Leathers>You're going to have to fall, let's say, onto something, hit your head on the <v Bob Leathers>corner of something, are you going to choose concrete, steel, or would? <v Bob Leathers>It's pretty obvious. <v Interviewer>What do you like most? <v Unnamed child>I like the dragon. The dragon's right here. <v Unnamed child>That's the dragon. <v Unnamed child>Is this the tongue? Is this the tongue?
<v Bob Leathers>That's the tongue. <v Bob Leathers>It slides down. <v Unnamed teacher>We'll never get them on line to take them back up. <v Unnamed teacher>Can you imagine? Can you imagine being down there 2 hours trying to line them up to take <v Unnamed teacher>them back upstairs and they're in the maze? <v Unnamed teacher>We'll find them, they'll be-. <v Unnamed teacher>They'll be in the maze! <v Unnamed teacher>We'll never know where they are. <v Bob Leathers>Kids, we're going to build it this spring. <v Bob Leathers>When we build it, it's only going to take 4 days <v Bob Leathers>to build the whole thing. <v Bob Leathers>Who do you think is going to build it? <v Bob Leathers>Who's going to build this? <v Class>Us! <v Bob Leathers>You are! How many have hammers at home? <v Bob Leathers>Who has hammers at home? <v Bob Leathers>Lots of them. OK. Now, tonight at 7:30, we're going to have a meeting here at <v Bob Leathers>school. The meeting is for you. <v Bob Leathers>You can come also bring your mothers and fathers. <v Bob Leathers>You can drag them over here. We really need their help. This
<v Bob Leathers>winter we need 150 <v Bob Leathers>people to work for just 2, <v Bob Leathers>maybe 4 hours. <v Bob Leathers>We need a lot of people to help a little bit. <v Bob Leathers>There are sign up sheets in back. <v Bob Leathers>Sign on that if you want to do some telephone calling, if you want to do some stuffing of <v Bob Leathers>envelopes or if you want to do something of that sort. <v Bob Leathers>You like working with people. I want the children and the parents from the <v Bob Leathers>children's committee to come up front right now to the front of the room. <v Bob Leathers>Thank you very much. <v Bob Leathers>Why the children's committee? <v Bob Leathers>We really do need their labor. <v Bob Leathers>We're going to plaster this neighborhood with posters when it comes at the end. <v Bob Leathers>Every little store, every little business is going to have a hand on post, a hand sign by <v Bob Leathers>one of the kids. Come help us build.
<v Speaker>Monies. <v Speaker>If you, in fact, went out and purchased all the materials for the playground, what you're <v Speaker>dealing with is somewhere between 30 and 40. <v Speaker>That's lumber, the bolts, the drive screws, the sheet <v Speaker>metal, the everything, everything, everything. <v Speaker>Tires are always free. Never pay for tires New York City? <v Speaker>Hey, they'll give you all the days you want. <v Speaker>They've got to pay to let people take them out of the city. <v Speaker>OK. Now, what happens, though, is that the materials <v Speaker>that you'll get donated free, you do not have to buy. <v Speaker>So let's just say pick one. <v Speaker>Lumber, let's pick a biggie. You get all the lumber donated free. <v Speaker>Probably in your playground, that's going to be a 15,000 dollar cost. <v Speaker>15,00 dollars free means the 40,000 suddenly becomes 25. <v Speaker>So now we don't have to do fund raising for 40, we only have to have 25 because we got <v Speaker>the lumber free. <v Speaker>Well, let me, I got to cut some over here too.
<v Speaker>When they give a dollar for this playground, 0 goes to administration and 7 <v Speaker>dollars value gets spent out there, because what happens with all that donated labor, <v Speaker>all that donated materials and everything that in fact <v Speaker>you can build 150,000 dollar playgrounds for <v Speaker>20 or 30,000 dollars. <v Music>[Kids singing as they clean tires]
<v Unnamed child>I'm working a couple different places. I started out over there. I started out over there, scraping off the splinters. Then I moved there to the tent. But I"m working out, I'm <v Unnamed child>having fun. <v Unnamed man>I walked by this playground every day of my life. <v Unnamed man>I don't think- 5 times a week I walk by this playground and to see it improving and <v Unnamed man>something better happening. And to see the kids are going to play here actually working <v Unnamed man>on it. It gives you a good feeling. <v Unnamed man>It reminds me of shop at school. <v Unnamed man>I got a C in shop. <v Naomi Hill>What are you doing? <v Class>Soaking nails, and screws. <v Naomi Hill>Can anybody explain to me why the nails have to be soaked? <v Unnamed child>To go into the ground or wood or whatever much easier than when we did stake out, <v Unnamed child>when it was really impossible. <v Naomi Hill>You know, I'm impressed by all the things you've learned what you're working with. <v Naomi Hill>We're going to feel a tremendous sense of pride, of identity that
<v Naomi Hill>we built it. And I think it helps children treat things with respect <v Naomi Hill>when they see the kind of effort that goes into making something. <v Naomi Hill>And they've been part of the planning and the making of it. <v Unnamed child>I guess I know it sounds like a Star Trek or Star Wars or something, but they're <v Unnamed child>everyone's joining forces to make something great. <v Unnamed child>And I think that everyone's getting a real sense of community <v Unnamed child>and union. <v Unnamed teacher>Years ago, you relied on the Board of Education or the Community School District to <v Unnamed teacher>provide funds to get to things you wanted. <v Unnamed teacher>But they don't do this for you. <v Unnamed teacher>This this idea grew from the parents. <v Unnamed teacher>This was their idea to put a playground here for the children, not only of the <v Unnamed teacher>neighborhood, but the children of the school to enjoy. <v Unnamed teacher>And it started very much like a small seed and it just mushroomed and it <v Unnamed teacher>grew. And if you want to do something like this, you have to mobilize <v Unnamed teacher>everything. Telephone company, Con Ed, construction companies, McDonald's, <v Unnamed teacher>all kinds of companies that are donating. <v Unnamed teacher>Could this have happened 10 years ago? I don't know.
<v Unnamed teacher>Unless the idea and the energy was there, no, I think the time is ripe for <v Unnamed teacher>communities to be involved in their school. <v Unnamed registration person>You ready, sir? <v Volunteer>That's right. <v Unnamed registration person>OK first thing to do is take your children and escort them over to the children's area. Go around the tent, take her into the yard where it says childcare. Are you a skilled <v Unnamed registration person>laborer? Oh, you're already wearing your tag. <v Volunteer>Yeah I have my skilled laborer badge. <v Unnamed registration person>No, Peter's a skilled worker. He's going to work on ?inaudible? Patrick's going to go to childcare. <v Volunteer>OK gang, be good. <v Building organizer>Coming through, one skilled one unskilled. You're very skilled right? <v Another building organizer>You're going to go get a dozen of them, there's a pile of them on the other side of the <v Another building organizer>scircular slide. Bring them over here.
<v Another building organizer>You're going to draw a line an inch and a half down to the top aof the ?inaudible? <v Another building organizer>across here. <v Another building organizer>On that line you're going to tack one of those ?inaudible? down, following the inch and a <v Another building organizer>half line. Put an inch and a half space, put another one. <v Volunteer>150 cents an hour. I got high skilled labor here. <v Volunteer>Got to use it very productively. I'm from the banking district. <v Unnamed teacher>I teach here. <v Volunteer>You teach here? Wow. <v Volunteer>All professions are out here putting this playground together. <v Volunteer>It's like raising a barn in the olden days.
<v Unnamed teacher>We've been working on this all year, <v Unnamed teacher>big effort for everybody on the school has been working on this all year. <v Unnamed teacher>The luncroom people are here today. <v Unnamed teacher>Many teachers are here today. Principals here today, the custodian is helping in his way. <v Unnamed teacher>The largest school <v Unnamed teacher>community efforts that I've ever seen on the West Side, and I've been here a long time <v Unnamed teacher>and lived on the West Side a very long time. <v Unnamed child>We think it's going to be the best playgrounds in the world. <v Unnamed child>We never thought parents can do this good work. <v Unnamed child>The parents have done a lot of work and the kids and all of the workers. <v Unnamed child>And I think that this playground should be written <v Unnamed child>up in a lot of magazines and be put on TV. <v Unnamed child>I think it's going to be great because they have this wonderful treehouse that some <v Unnamed child>kids thought of.
<v Interviewer>Who's the expert here? <v Builder>Barbara . <v Interviewer>Barbara. <v Builder>She's the brains, and 3 quarters of the brain. <v Builder>I supply 1 quarter of the brawn and a lot of encouragement. <v Interviewer>He's the beauty. <v Interviewer>?inaudible? <v Barbara>This is a mutual society. <v Unnamed registration person>The first 2 days were particularly rough. <v Unnamed registration person>We just didn't seem like we had enough people, especially people who are skilled. <v Unnamed registration person>I think the real problem is, is that this is work primarily in rural communities and <v Unnamed registration person>suburbs where there are just more people around who are carpenters or if they weren't <v Unnamed registration person>professionally working with wood professionally, did stuff at home, in their garage, <v Unnamed registration person>whatever. And in Manhattan you just don't have that many people who are used to doing <v Unnamed registration person>that kind of work. So the level of skill hasn't been adequate to get the work <v Unnamed registration person>done at the pace that he would have wanted. <v Bob Leathers>If we can't get hundreds appearance tomorrow, <v Bob Leathers>we can't build the castle.
<v Bob Leathers>We're going to have to leave the castle out because we've got to <v Bob Leathers>finish by Sunday night. <v Bob Leathers>And that's the reality of what we're dealing with. <v Bob Leathers>But you know what? I'll bet you that we're going to get those <v Bob Leathers>hundreds of parents. And you know why? <v Bob Leathers>Because you are going to go home and you are going to drag your parents over here. <v Bob Leathers>This is a late community. <v Bob Leathers>Nobody comes in the morning. If I had it to do again, I wouldn't even bother <v Bob Leathers>to try and start at 7:00 in the morning. <v Bob Leathers>I'd say, don't bother, come until 10:00 and I'd work till 1:00 in the morning. <v Bob Leathers>But what's happening is we're adjusting now and our night shifts are getting better and <v Bob Leathers>we're holding those in there longer. <v Unnamed man>The good news, the good news, not only Assemblyman Nava, who helped <v Unnamed man>raise the money for this. But we have Captain Pianca from the 20th precinct. <v Unnamed man>He said if his men <v Unnamed man>are not out fighting crime, they're going to come down and help build.
<v Bob Leathers>Everybody break for lunch. Lunch time, everybody breaks for lunch. <v Muriel Costa>It's been a very interesting organizational procedure. <v Muriel Costa>It's been hard to organize because I never knew how many people, for sure, <v Muriel Costa>would be here. How many people did I have to feed? <v Muriel Costa>The restaurants have been incredible around here. <v Muriel Costa>The Broadway Bay, Pasta and Dreams, Pasta and Dreams sent us 50 pounds <v Muriel Costa>of pasta yesterday. You want Maddy? <v Muriel Costa>There she is. Yeah, I think so. <v Madie Frankel>I knew when Muriel was doing the food. <v Madie Frankel>I didn't have to worry about thing. <v Muriel Costa>The funniest thing is when they came to see the South Pacific and she came backstage <v Muriel Costa>and was who else was there? Somebody else? <v Madie Frankel>Another couple was there. <v Muriel Costa>From the P.A. <v Madie Frankel>She got me great seats. <v Muriel Costa>And we were talking and she comes backstage. <v Muriel Costa>Oh, she loved the show. I said, listen, I just got 60 pounds of coffee from ?inaudible? <v Madie Frankel>Then I got back to tell how great she is. <v Madie Frankel>And I was freaking out. You know, this is the food person for the playground.
<v Madie Frankel>She's talking about 60 pounds of coffee from ?inaudible? <v Muriel Costa>People have been wonderful. <v Madie Frankel>She's the best. <v Muriel Costa>They really have been. <v Madie Frankel>Great. <v Muriel Costa>Our neighborhood people in in getting us stuff because we couldn't have done it <v Muriel Costa>otherwise. <v Madie Frankel>I'd do anything with you. <v Muriel Costa>Yeah, we could conquer the world. She figures we could run this world, our committees <v Muriel Costa>altogether. We really could. <v Madie Frankel>We could. At least a small country. <v Unnamed child>If you want to take a break you can take a break. <v Unnamed registration person>Oh you can take a break? <v Unnamed child>Whenever you want. <v Unnamed registration person>OK, well, I can't take a break right now. <v Unnamed child>No. No, but I'm taking a break. <v Unnamed registration person>Oh you're taking a break. OK. <v Susan Xenarios>I'm not talking, I'm not feeling at this moment. Sure we'll survive it. <v Susan Xenarios>It's wonderful. <v Susan Xenarios>It really is. It's been a lot of work for everybody, though. <v Susan Xenarios>I mean, basically, most parents have been volunteering from 7:00 in the morning till
<v Susan Xenarios>like 10:00 at night. And even though we have relief's, it's a lot of work. <v Susan Xenarios>Yesterday, we had over 250 children in child care under the age of 10. <v Susan Xenarios>The best part will be tomorrow when it's all over. <v Joanne Staats>I'm sure after I bring my kids to this playground, they'll be very happy that we did it. <v Joanne Staats>Right now I am just so tired. <v Joanne Staats>I wouldn't do it again. <v Joanne Staats>No, actually. <v Madie Frankel>Somebody might have a burn. <v Joanne Staats>Just tell him to put it in ice water. <v Madie Frankel>Ice water? ?inaudible? <v Joanne Staats>Just put cold compresses on it. <v Madie Frankel>You'll come check her after? <v Joanne Staats>Or bring her down here. <v Madie Frankel>Alright, I'll bring her down. It's good to have a nurse in the house. <v Joanne Staats>No, actually, I would do it again when this project first started and I really
<v Joanne Staats>felt that money being raised could be used for other things in the school, <v Joanne Staats>but then I realized that what we really get is a lot of people <v Joanne Staats>who haven't been involved, who haven't been that involved in the parents' <v Joanne Staats>association, come out and do something together. <v Joanne Staats>In addition to bringing the community together, that's what I liked the best. <v Bob Leathers>A community effort where everybody gets together and has a very <v Bob Leathers>special experience is more than just a playground. <v Bob Leathers>It is a social event that can change people's lives. <v Bob Leathers>The children are higher energy than any place <v Bob Leathers>I've ever worked. <v Bob Leathers>This is their world. <v Bob Leathers>They know this is being created just for them, their little niche of this great <v Bob Leathers>big city. And that's perhaps part of the reason they're so excited. <v Bob Leathers>They're within this hostile environment there's a very welcome, warm place <v Bob Leathers>that's theirs. They designed and built it.
<v Bob Leathers>Theirs. <v Unnamed child>Press this and then look through here. Press this and then look through here. First you look through here then press it. Cheese! <v Interviewer>Why are you taking these nails out? <v Volunteer>The kid who was doing the part of the railing before measured <v Volunteer>wrong, and it was about 2 eights of an inch too high. <v Volunteer>And we have to make sure that they're level. <v Volunteer>So I started from here and you could see that his was lower. <v Volunteer>I mean, higher than mine. And you can actually see the line here. <v Volunteer>So I had to take him out. <v Volunteer>And then remeasure. <v inter>Are you going to be able to finish tonight you think? <v Volunteer>Well, from what I hear, Mr. Leathers has a reputation of getting the job <v Volunteer>done. <v Bob Leathers>OK. Bring that down and stack over here instead.
<v Unnamed child>OK how many? <v Bob Leathers>Bring down at least 10. <v Unnamed child>OK. <v Unnamed child>No problem. <v Announcer>Repeat, all kids are in the auditorium for pick up when you're ready to leave. <v Bob Leathers>Thank you it was really fun working with you. It was a fantastic experience, but it was <v Bob Leathers>probably I lost the most sleep over any project I've ever done. <v Bob Leathers>There was 1 post that was put in 6 different towns to try get it right. <v Interviewer>Low skill level on the West Side? <v Bob Leathers>There's kind of a lower skill level. <v Bob Leathers>I think maybe the lowest in world. <v Bob Leathers>I'm not sure that. Now, the fact is not ?inaudible? <v Bob Leathers>for some people. We either had very skilled or no skill. <v Bob Leathers>But it was fun. It was. And I'd never seen them stick with it as well as they are now. <v Bob Leathers>And every night it's been an experience. <v Henry J. Stern>What grade?
<v Unnamed child>Fourth. <v Henry J. Stern>Fourth grade? <v Unnamed child>I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United <v Unnamed child>States of America and to the republic for which <v Unnamed child>it stands, 1 nation under God, <v Unnamed child>indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. <v Henry J. Stern>General Sherman playground is unique because it not only belongs to the neighborhood. <v Henry J. Stern>It's been redesigned and equipped with a great many wonderful features, <v Henry J. Stern>thanks in large part to the time and money given by so many of <v Henry J. Stern>your neighbors who made up Operation Playground. <v Ruth W. Messinger>When I arrived on that May Saturday and signed <v Ruth W. Messinger>in, causing a little bit of consternation because I'd come from giving a speech and <v Ruth W. Messinger>so I was wearing a dress and high heels, but I was asked if I was <v Ruth W. Messinger>here to work. I said I was. And I'm sure this happened to lots of you.
Operation Playground
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WNYC-TV (Television station : New York, N.Y.)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Program Description
"'Operation Playground,' produced by TV/31, takes the viewers through a miracle on 77th street. From an empty asphalt schoolyard to a beautifully designed playground. A playground created by the youngsters themselves. "The seeds of 'Operation Playground' were planted by a mother on lunch duty who was appalled, not by the space in which the children played, but the lack of anything for them to play with or climb on. She had read about Bob Leathers, the Johnny Appleseed of Playgrounds, in a [women's'] magazine. She made some inquiries and before she [knew] it, had the cooperation of school officials, the Parks Department, and local police and fire precincts. One phone call had blossomed into a community project. "Through the cameras of TV/31, this amazing achievement has been documented and is testimony that people, working [together in] a community, can make a difference. "For those who believe that it is impossible to achieve positive change in a city the size of [New] York, WNYC-TV/31's production of 'Operation Playground' is proof that with a little ingenuity, a lot of caring, and indestructible determination, yesterday's asphalt deserts can become tomorrow's fantasy lands for New York City children."--1988 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Producing Organization: WNYC-TV (Television station : New York, N.Y.)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-a5c74cd0181 (Filename)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 0:29:40
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Chicago: “Operation Playground,” 1988, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “Operation Playground.” 1988. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: Operation Playground. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from