The Recreation administrative team brainstormed ways to meet Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng’s call for next level government. After brainstorming the Recreation Department created eight initiatives to complete within the year. Here is the recap of those seven initiatives:
The Model Playground
At the beginning of 2021, administrators identified that JPRD playgrounds did not operate under a consistent set of high standards, including facilities, maintenance, programming, and staff engagement with the public.
Over the course of the year, staff created a policy manual as an easily accessible tool for operating playgrounds.
In addition, a manual for supervisors was created through workshops in conjunction with staff to develop a guide written for supervisors by supervisors on meeting critical tasks and giving suggestions and guidelines on how to be successful.
JPRD Phone Application & Website
The lack of effective online platforms hindered the department’s communication to the public. The department heavily relied on social media as the main channel for information distribution which ultimately did not reach all JPRD users. Our goal with this second next-level initiative was to create easy access to information, a website for immediate and readily available data, and a phone application to send real-time information through push notifications.
We launched the new website in December 2021, providing immediate information to the public, including forms, an event calendar, and program information which can be accessed at https://www.jprd.com.
JPRD will launch its new mobile application in early 2022. The app will allow for immediate information like push notifications and schedules to be available to parents and participants.
Streamlined Training System for Employees and Volunteer Coaches
New employees and volunteer instructors received minimal training after onboarding about their roles and expectations in the department before 2021.
Therefore, the department vigorously worked to enhance the experience of new hires and instructors by upgrading the screening procedures and identifying expectations and training protocols.
JPRD and Human Resources worked together to create a virtual library for staff training videos and quizzes. In addition, the administration worked to develop and obtain videos that would be helpful to both incoming employees and current employees to increase understanding of their job tasks and roles.
Appoint a Safety Administrator
The administration sought to streamline the responsibilities for evaluating and maintaining safety protocols. As a result, JPRD appointed a safety administrator to ensure enhanced safety protocols.
The Safety Administrator identified problems around the department while also creating tailgate sessions for employees. These sessions identify hazards and teach employees how to avoid or safely handle the danger.
Year-Round Sports Academies
JPRD workshopped, creating opportunities for year-round sports at a higher level for participants wanting to focus on a particular sport. For example, JPRD created seasonal workshops like the Nicholson Playground Summer Basketball Academy to gauge the public’s interest in the year-round sporting idea. The Athletics Division is working to develop more sporting academies in 2022.
Family Participation Programming
JPRD’s focus in 2021 has been on implementing family programs and activities. During the beginning of the global pandemic, more
families participated in activities together. The JPRD administration felt it was vital for Jefferson Parish residents to continue the trend and incorporate more family-wide activities and programs.
The Leisure Service Division created community events like Screen on the Green and partnered with NOLA Families in Need Toy Drive Christmas Celebration to bring family-centered events to Jefferson Parish.
The department will start 2022 with a family-centered kickball tournament open for all families to enjoy and compete for a prestigious “kickin’ it” trophy.
Submitting Maintenance Work Tickets vis Handheld Device
Maintenance of our facilities is of the utmost importance to providing quality programming for the public. However, the ticketing system for facility maintenance required an online work ticket, which had additional steps for evaluation, description, and time for completion. Therefore, we upgraded our system using technology to transform the maintenance division into a responsive, efficient, and accurate team by purchasing handheld devices for a more streamlined ticket system.