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Reading a 'playful city' again in 2013

By Kevin Fitzsimmons, Web Producer
Published On: May 07 2013 01:31:34 PM CDT
Updated On: May 08 2013 08:13:50 AM CDT

Reading is keeping its "Playful City USA" distinction.

READING, Pa. -

Reading is keeping its "Playful City USA" distinction.

The city is one of 217 communities getting the honor from a national nonprofit. It earned the title last year, as well.

The honor goes to communities that give children plenty of places to play.

The Gilmore | Henne Community Fund helped Reading get the honor. The fund, begun by Berks County natives and NFL stars John Gilmore and Chad Henne, revitalized five area playgrounds, including the 2nd and Oley Playground in 2010 and Barbey's Playground, off of Schuylkill Avenue, in 2011.

"Allowing children to just be children is critical," said Christine Anderton, executive director, Gilmore | Henne Community Fund. "When we are in the parks with the kids engaged in our programming and activities, we provide them with a safe, clean environment that allows them to just be kids.  This gives them a sense of belonging and worth that is priceless.  It’s all about giving hope.”

The fund will announce plans to revitalize a sixth playground in June.