The Garfield Gators are in the pool!

Today was a big day for city water polo efforts as the Garfield Gators got into the pool and began their quest for a new sport, water polo.

Practice times: Arrival at 11 am for chalk and tech talk with Coach Mark. We’ll cover skills, tactics, digital badges and use tablets. Then from 11:30 to 11:45 we’ll do dry-land exercises. We used some medicine balls, running, conditioning routines. Change and then hit the pool for a solid hour, from noon to 1 pm.

Weather permitting. This is an outdoor pool. If there is a storm, we can’t swim, of course.


Water Polo happens in the evenings at Citiparks pools

Summer Dreamers who want to swim better and who want to have some fun, come out to the pool in the evenings. Bring your friends, family and guardians too.

Extra Evening Practices and the Google Calendar

Five times a week, Coach Mark or staff with Swim & Water Polo, are going to local swim pools for extra practices. All are invited. Let’s master a lifetime skill this summer and let’s play community water polo and SKWIM games all summer and all year. Check out and subsribe to the Google Calendar for dates, times, locations of these sessions. See it at We want to host an All-City Sports Camp in August 2015.

  • Mondays & Wednesdays, 6-7:30 pm, Northside, Citiparks’ Sue Murray swim pool.
  • Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6-7:30 pm, Mt. Washington, Citiparks’ Ream swim pool.
  • Fridays (but not July 3rd), 5 to 8 pm, Hill District, Thelma Lovette YMCA on Centre Ave.

Pool admission at Citiparks is required. However, all 15-and-under can get a FREE Citiparks Pool Pass by going to any of the Citiparks Rec Centers and signing up. Family pool tags cost $60, on average.

Sessions at the YMCA are no charge. Kids need to be signed into the facility by an adult on their first visit. College players / Masters play water polo on Tuesdays, so watching them is an experience too.

Staff Efforts

Staff training happens today.

New Learn & Earn staffers are joining our ranks.

Jobs. Payroll. Being safe. Teaching. We have plenty to cover.

Water polo players, mostly staff, join with some others for Friday evening swimming, water polo and SKWIM games.

Water polo players, mostly staff, join with some others for Friday evening swimming, water polo and SKWIM games.

Co-op Team Forming: Pittsburgh Combined

Sports is about competition, but with a new project from BGC seasonal employee, Mark Rauterkus, cooperation is the prime goal. Students from a number of different schools are being recruited to work together to form a new varsity water polo program at Obama Academy. The key to playing well with others rests with adults at the respective schools, the principals and athletic directors.

An email invitation to more than ten different schools was sent in June 2015, in hopes of forming a sports team coop, a PIAA sports term, that allows students from various schools to play under the same team banner in high school competitions. Coach Rauterkus and others at Pittsburgh’s Obama Academy are familiar with squads that include students from different schools. The school’s football team, called USO, has U-Prep, Sci-Tech and Obama. All the Obama varsity teams, such as swimming, basketball and volleyball, can include the students from U-Prep and Sci-Tech.

Coach Rauterkus is the boys varsity swim coach at Obama Academy. His team won a WPIAL section title, going undefeated in its first year in the WPIAL in 2013. Home-school and CAPA students are on the Obama swim team too.

“We’re pulling together an new program that forms a bigger pool of eligible athletes,” said Rauterkus. Catholic schools, (Central, Okland, Bishop Canevin, Seton LaSalle), private schools (Ellis, Winchester Thurston), charter schools (Urban Pathways, City High) and other smaller public schools (Westinghouse, Brentwood, Wilkinsburg) are invited and are considering the co-op.

“Playing well with others is a theme that resonates with me,” said Rauterkus. “The opportunities for the city kids are often much different than what are presented in suburban settings. “With water polo, we can grow the sport and create friendships and better understandings among different groups of people.”

Presently only North Allegheny and two other schools in Erie field boys water polo teams. Pittsburgh Combined, a team hosted by Pittsburgh’s Obama Academy, could be the fourth.

Underwater player

Invites to join were sent to: Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, Pittsburgh Milliones 6-12, Pittsburgh Westinghouse High School, Central Catholic, Oakland Catholic, Bishop Canevin High School, Seton-La Salle, Ellis School, Winchester Thurston, City High School, Urban Pathways, Propel Charter Schools, Hill House Charter School, Imani Christian Academy, Wilkinsburg High School, Brentwood High School, Carlynton High School, Northgate High School.

For the past six summers, water polo has been offered as an activity with Summer Dreamers Academy. In 2015, more than 150 students get to learn to swim and play water polo for 3-hours a day for 28 days. Staff from many of those schools help train the students as employees, including more than a dozen from the city’s Learn & Earn job program.

The open letter to school administrators says, in part: “In past years, we’ve had more informal participation and called the team, Pittsburgh Combined. This year, with your okay, we’d love to include students from your school in a more robust program with more jobs and tighter relationships among the educational institutions so that the city kids can compete.”

Water polo seems to be about both: competition and cooperation.

See the letter and more at the Pittsburgh Combined wiki page.

Goals, Level 1

Digital Badges, Goals, Level 1, is ready for your participation. Being a goal setter and thinking about goals, is an important function for achievement in life, with youngsters and adults. All are encouraged to take some time and do the activities and earn our Level 1 accomplishment.

There is no charge for the entire process. This can be shared far and wide. Our staff is working on this now and in the days to come, those in Swim & Water Polo Camp as part of Summer Dreamers Academy get to give it a whirl too.

First: You’re going to need to go to the CLOH wiki and log in with a username.

Second: Read about the process on the wiki page:

Third: At the bottom of the Digital_Badges/Goals/Level 1 page is a “button” that takes you to a new wiki page. On that new page you edit and post four of your goals. A few other questions are asked. Keep reading. Keep following the directions.

Goals, Level 2

Goals, Level 2 is about the GOI.

Fourth: You ask for the site administrators and coaches to deliver you the digital badge.

Fifth: Stay tuned for the next level of the Digital Badges/Goals. That is much different and includes the GOI, the goal orientation index.

Water polo for adults, masters, lifeguards, college players and varsity swimmers

The first night of masters water polo happened in Pittsburgh at a new location, Citiparks Ream Swim Pool in Mt. Washington.

Drive up to Mt. Washington on McArdle Roadway and at the top of the hill, cross over Grandview Drive and continue straight. Just after the first light, on the way down the back side of Mt. Washington, you’ll see the Ream Rec Center. The swim pool is not visible from the road. On street parking.

Water polo action

Water polo action.

See you Tuesdays, 6-7:30 pm.

Pay $5 at the door for adults, or get a yearly pass for all Citiparks pools for $30. Kids and veterans are less.

Nine steps for getting involved with Digital Badges

1. Explore the options. Decide for yourself.

Not much in life is mandatory. You can rise up to the challenge and strive to get a grip on the Digital Badges, or you can ignore them. Some individuals are going to want to learn and grow by wrestling with these challenges and opportunities. Care to engage, show initiative and try hard.

Some of the Digital Badges are going to be easy for you to get. Others are going to be out of reach for you this summer.

2. Sign in.

The youth of Pittsburgh are getting their Digital Badges with the Pgh City of Learning and adults are able to log into

3. Learn the details of what to do.

All digital badges have criteria. Some are built for skills while others are for knowledge and dispositions. Badges are earned. Take the test, be it physical, mental or of one’s character.

    • Read, study, and ask questions when confused or stuck. Seek assistance.
    • Take it all in by surfing around at category:Digital Badges.
    • Work it. Have fun. Discover. Write. Be independent too.

4. Prove it.

    • You can do it. You did it. Make sure a camera is close.
    • Prove it to others. Show off your efforts. Be a positive social force.
    • Add to the collection. Put yourself into the outcomes.
    • Improve the ebooks, the exercise collections and teach others the routines.
    • Get into the details of the documentation and share with your witnesses on this wiki.

5. Ask for your badge by posting the code snip, “Please Bestow.”

      • When the time is right, ask for your badges.
    • See /Bestowing

6. Delivery of the Digital Badges

    • Expect an email from the badge platform that delivers the badge to you.
    • Do a dance of accomplishment.

7. After their arrival, do some housekeeping.

Bits of digital dust need to be scrubbed so that different staff members don’t re-send you the same badges. Wipe that badge off of the to-do list.

    • Remove the Category: Please Bestow from the wiki page.
    • Remove the Template: Please Bestow from the wiki page.

8. The network can fuel your growth.

Being socially responsible, connected, and friendly includes outreach.

    • Tell your friends.
    • Thanks those that helped you along the way.
    • Update your resume.
    • Ping social media sites.
    • Attack again on another accomplishment.
    • Plan the next steps and sharing with others.

9. Celebrate, rinse and repeat.

    • Be involved for the long-haul.
    • Don’t change. Grow. Be mighty.

Gear up for the first day and every day of Summer Dreamers

Summer Dreamers starts in about one week, on Monday, June 29, 2015. If your child is in Swim & Water Polo, this is a great time to insure that the swimwear is on hand and in good condition. Do you have a swim suit? Do you need to get another one? We’ll be swimming every day, and even on the first day. So, be prepared.

At the South Side Giant Eagle there are goggles for sale for less than $2. Good bargain. Googles, swim caps, towels, swim suits, shorts and running shoes are all important.

Running in the afternoon in long pants and in flip-flops is frowned upon.

Forgetting a swim suite is really a downer.

Info about Citiparks Swim Pool Tags for 2015

Free Pool Passes for those 15 and younger:

Citiparks is now offering FREE swimming in all City of Pittsburgh pools for resident children, fifteen years and younger.  Parents need only to register their children at any of Citiparks’ 10 Recreation Centers across the city then bring their membership cards to the pool each day.

How do I prove I am a city resident?

Proof includes a driver’s license or state photo I.D., school I.D., utility bills, report cards, pay stubs, lease agreements or other official correspondence. Your city address must be on the identification to be valid.

How do I prove I receive welfare?

Bring a copy of your case printout. You can get this from your caseworker at the Department of Public Assistance. The printout must include a current date, your name, the name of everyone in the family you want to get tags for, and your address.


Your pool tag can be used at our indoor aquatic facility, the Oliver Bath House, or at any of our 18 outdoor facilities.  The tag is good all summer long, and can be used at our indoor pool throughout the fall, winter and spring.  The tag you purchased now expires June 1, 2016.

To avoid losing your tag, sew the tag on to your swimsuit.  You may wear the tag attached to an ankle or wristband or looped onto your swimsuit’s shoulder strap or belt loop.  For your own protection, never wear your tag on a neck chain or pinned to your suit.  Wear your tag the entire time you are at the pool.  It must be visible to the pool staff.  Citiparks will not refund or replace lost or stolen tags, so it is safest to sew on your tag.

You must have a tag to enter any of our aquatic facilities, even if you are not swimming.  The tag is your admission to the pool area.  Your admission fee helps pay for the staffing and operation of the facility.  Don’t forget, children under the age of 6 must be accompanied by an adult 16 years or older in the water.

Tags may be revoked for violations of pool rules.

The City of Pittsburgh offers a variety of aquatic programs for people of all ages. To find out what programs are available at your pool, contact the Head Lifeguard, look online at, or call the Aquatic Division Office at:  412-323-7928.


The City of Pittsburgh’s 18 outdoor aquatic facilities opened on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, at 1:00 PM.  The outdoor swimming season ends on Labor Day, Monday, September 7, 2015.  Citiparks pools will remain open through Labor Day as staffing levels permit.

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Friday:

1:00 PM – 7:45 PM

Saturday, Sunday and Holidays:

1:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Purchase of tags:

Cash, Check or Money Order. Sorry. No Credit Card purchases.

You can purchase pool tags at the following locations:

June 9 – September 7:

At the following Aquatic Facilities:

Banksville     Phillips

Bloomfield    Ream

Highland    Riverview

Homewood    Schenley

Jack Stack    Sheraden

Magee        Sue Murray

McBride    West Penn

Moore         Westwood


Weekdays: 1:00 PM – 7:45 PM

Weekends and Holidays: 1:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Ammon – will not be selling pool tags but you can pay daily admission or purchase your tags at any of the above locations.


You can pay a daily admission fee at any of our locations.  Prices are as follows:

$5.00 for Adults (16 & older)

$3.00 for Children (3 – 15)

Children under 3 are FREE
Other fees:

Daily fee Adults (16+) $5.00 & Adult Pass (city resident, 16+) $30.00

*For more information on Citiparks Aquatics visit,

follow @Citiparks on Twitter or call 412-323-7928.

Family and Individual Pool Tag Application

*Kids Swim FREE with a Recreation Center Membership Pass!

Head of Household:
Last Name First Name
Address: City/Zip Code:
Phone: Neighborhood: Pool You Use Most:
Type of Purchase Print the Name of the PersonWho Will Wear This Tag Type of Tag Adult (age 16+)Youth (age 3-15)Circle One Price Per Tag Circle OneRegular      DPA Total
Adult Youth  $60.00 $30.00 Military Family
Adult Youth       ID#:
Adult Youth
Adult Youth $
Adult Youth $10.00 $4.00
Adult Youth $10.00 $4.00 $
Adult $30.00 $15.00
Adult $30.00      $15.00
Youth $15.00 $7.00
Youth $15.00 $7.00 $
Active Veteran Free ID #:
Adult $20.00
Adult Youth $45.00
Adult Youth $45.00 $
Total $
Check or money order made payable to: Treasurer, City Of Pittsburgh for the total. For the public assistance discount, provide a case printout as proof that you & your family live in the City Of Pittsburgh and receive welfare.  For City of Pittsburgh residents who are disabled veterans and families of active duty military and activated reservist/guard members, pool tags are available at no cost.  Proper ID is required.

Please Do Not Write Below This Line

Clerk Location Date
Adult Tag #’s Youth Tag #’s

Your Citiparks Pool Tags May Be Used At All Citiparks Pools Including The Oliver Bath House During The Off Season.  Citiparks pools will remain open through Labor Day as staffing levels permit.  Pool tags may be revoked for violations of pool rules.  THERE ARE NO REFUNDS.  Replacements for lost or stolen tags must be purchased.  Your tag must be visible at all times.

“I hereby grant full permission to the City of Pittsburgh and any sponsor of this event to use my name, likeness and voice, as well as any photographs, videotapes, motion pictures, recordings or any other of this event in which I may appear for any legitimate purpose including television broadcasting of this event, the reuse of any media of this broadcast and in advertising and promotion for such broadcast and reuse.”

Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation and Summer Dreamers Swim & Water Polo Lead the Way in Digital Badges

by Adam Majewski, staff member and recent Pitt graduate

Head photo of Adam

Adam, Badge Champion

The Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, with support from the Sprout Fund through their City of Learning initiative, is bringing tablet technology into the classroom for the Summer Dreamer Swim & Water Polo and Mindful Eating camps this summer. This development is part of an effort to improve learning outcomes in and out of the classroom and to improve technology literacy. Digital badges are set to provide the incentive, direction, and visibility for students to improve their knowledge, skills, and character. The classroom tablets are a means to both connect the summer dreamers with these badges and to provide a learning environment that teaches the precepts of technology literacy.

Digital badges provide a means of rewarding and showcasing students’ learning achievements outside of the traditional classroom setting. They are a showcase for student knowledge and skill that can be displayed across the internet as a means of demonstrating students’ career readiness or aptitude to collaborate in multi-media projects, for instance. The Pittsburgh City of Learning effort is encouraging groups like Summer Dreamers, the Carnegie Library, and Learn and Earn Summer Youth Employment Program to develop badges to showcase the skills, knowledge, and abilities that participants develop through city-wide programs. This is because preparation for the future is a task that requires the whole community, not just one institution, to achieve for the youth of the city.

The Summer Dreamers Swim & Water Polo program, with the help of the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, is one of the programs leading the way in this City of Learning initiative. By showcasing the knowledge and skills that prepare learners for future fitness health and employment opportunity, the digital badges for the Swim & Water Polo camp are set to dynamically improve the visibility of Pittsburgh Public School students’ learning and achievement outside the schoolroom. Coupled with the availability of tablets through the program, students will be able to display their talents better than ever before, through the internet and other digital media. These digital badges provide one more resource for students to diversify their skills and knowledge and display their talent to the rest of the community.