Monthly Archives: April 2016

Inside plans for

A grant application is due in a week and some changes to the proposal that was sent to The Sprout Fund are expected. These are not a serious change of direction, but they are enhancements and further expansion for the sake of scale and impact.

A letter of support from Milestone Pod has been requested and promised. The Milestone Pod, made by Milestone Sports, is an electronic pedometer used in 2015 with our students at Swim & Water Polo. It presents a fun bridge between technology and running. Running is a solo sport. But, with the Milestone Pod, the running is more connected to others. Plus, the data from the pod and the handling of the Bluetooth technology and its accelerometer is tech-rich.

The HQ Orientation slated for Quarter One is getting a boost with a letter of support from Kevin DeForrest, author of the book, The Treasure Within. The book was published years ago by the Sports Support Syndicate and is to be made into an ebook and an app (perhaps a HTML5 presentation). The Treasure Within XP can be a fine experience for athletes teach about being present.

The Tech Captains Digital Badge was the only outcome for the proposal delivered to The Sprout Fund. Additional digital badges can be proposed in the next documentation. For example, those that earn the Tech Captains in fall, winter and spring within the same school year get a different designation, the Literate Olympians Digital Badges. Also expected are outdoor recreation digital badges, aquatic athlete digital badges and technology level digital badges. The Varsity Athletes Digital Badges can be earned by those who log 100 or more practice and competitions with five or more teammates in a season.

Community voice experiences with the open mic are getting expanded to include participation at other events such as Lawrenceville’s Art All Night, PodCamp Pittsburgh, EDU Camp, Word Camp slated for September 2016, Steel City Codefest, Venture Fest in May at Point State Park and The Moth. Day of coding and other special events are able to be put into that experience as desired by participants and program leaders.

Additional clarification as to what is not in the mix needs to be detailed somewhere. Motor sports, skiing, solo rock climbing are hard to embrace with the theme of playing well with others. All the XPs at are to include at least two, and hopefully three, of the main traits: Play, Technology and Development.

Some type of experience for chess, especially community chess and tournament chess, is welcomed.

More discussion and details need to occur with the unlocking of additional opportunities as some experiences are completed and others then become presented.

We hope that Pair Networks, see, is going to be pulled into our network. can be a big helper as a technology partner. I’d love to have the Pair Networks help with eCommerce and long-term sustainability. Getting virtual server space for limited months or reduced rates can be an unlocked opportunity for those that get to the brilliant and genius stages. Pair Networks also has some tutorials that can be embraced and re-positioned as XPs.

Human Kinetics, the worlds largest publisher of titles about physical activity, is considering a proposal.

Instructor trainers need additional mentions. There are plenty of instructor trainers in the network, but they can be better highlighted in the proposal.

Question: What did you do as a kid?
Answer: “Our life centered around playing ball.”

Our life centered around playing ball.

We played basketball. … We played football. We played softball. And, I’ll tell you something. This is interesting. In those days, and I think it was a good thing, kids played it (sports) without adult supervision. So we made up our own games. And we worked things things out ourselves. I learned a lot about democracy from the school yards…. It was a great experience.

This is less of a candidate endorsement but rather it is a resounding endorsement of the developmental stages when kid’s learn about playing well with others.

Program Coordinator – BIG League Sports, sends letter of support for

To: Sprout Fund

Dear Grant Administrators:

As a City of Pittsburgh employee, I have worked as a  Rec. Center Director and a Program Coordinator for the CitiParks BIG League Program for 16 years. During these many years of service, I have come to know Mr. Mark Rauterkus in various roles throughout both my employment and personally in my community.  I have a great deal of respect for his vision and forward thinking and his ability to work tirelessly for the youth of the City of Pittsburgh.

I want to express my sincere hope that you look upon the application of in the most favorable ways and grant the support to these efforts. The city’s youth need more programs and this is an original approach that puts some extra academic push behind the sports, teams, coaches, players and communities we serve. In my professional opinion I believe it is essential moving forward using technology that kids are already very familiar with.

It is wonderful to stand among a number of other great community institutions in this effort. Our recreation centers and our programs with BIG League are sure to welcome the extra attention and participation from high school aged citizens of Pittsburgh.

BIG League offers a number of sports opportunities such as one day competitions, Junior Pirates, baseball, softball, soccer and futsal to name a few. The program services more than 4,000 kids under 18 every year. I can tell you our kids would love to have extra help with technology and other enrichment experiences that this program is going to provide.

Moving forward we expect to start running sports academies at West Penn Recreation Center and expand programming to utilize the fitness rooms we now have at our disposal. One idea is a Pull Your Own Weight competition that I could see this program being a huge part of the experience. Anything extra we can offer to get youth involved in not only individual but group activities gives us an advantage and makes us more appealing to kids that have a hundred other thing to pull their attention away.  We find ourselves in a day and age where technology has taken over our lives. We need to find a way to recognize that usage and make it something that is integrated into our programming. Resources are depleting daily and we are not able to keep up with the simple needs let alone introduce a new and exciting attraction to inner city kids. I believe having this to offer would put us over the edge and really make us stand out in a city where champs are made. Having this will help us make more champs.

I thank you for your time and serious consideration in this matter.

Michelle L. AulProgram Coordinator – BIG League Sports

Acting Center Director – West Penn Recreation Center

Pull Your Own Weight, a pending XP in the pathway to a digital badge.

One Northside, blast from the past

We love the North Side!

Home to Sarah Heinz House.

Home to Oliver High School.

Home to the Sue Murray Swim Pool, a Citiparks facility.

Home to the Pittsburgh Project on Charles Street, with its swim pool.

Pittsburgh Public Schools’ King, a 2016 Summer Dreamers site, sadly without Swim & Water Polo, and Pittsburgh Allegheny School, a school with an indoor swim pool.

Lake Elizabeth near the National Aviary.

Home to the PNC Park, Heinz Field, River Rescue, the Pittsburgh Triathlon, Three Rivers Rowing and a few bike lanes too!