PLAY applications are a way for Denver citizen’s to access all that Denver Recreation has to offer. PLAY is specifically geared to help those who cannot afford the full price of a membership or the cost to join a Denver Recreation sports team. In order ensure Rec was both meeting their customer’s needs, and getting more financial assistance to eligible residents, Denver Recreation staff, coaches, and administration took a look at how they were distributing PLAY funds. The WHY of PLAY is to build community and get kids and families to be active together. The PLAY committee wanted to make a good thing even better.
The PLAY team reached out to the PEAK team and began a partnership with Jerraud Coleman and Brian Pool to reduce the time it took to process and approve applications as well as ensure funds were appropriately allocated. They decided to centralize the process and worked to reduce any confusion on the form and include a Frequently Asked Questions option for customers. Other innovations included: updating the requirements, a sliding scale for awards, and increasing staff training to ensure customer’s needs were better addressed.
Through these innovations, the PLAY team was able to reduce the turnaround time for their clients from 7 days to 24 hours. The new centralized process allowed them to reduce the amount of staff time needed to process the applications and better ensure people are qualified for the amount they are receiving. This helped increase the amount of assistance each family can receive towards their Denver Rec membership. The team took special consideration for single parents, those in-between jobs, and those with children in college. All of these innovations mean more kids and families are able to be apart of the strong community at our recreations centers.
Sophia works with the Peak Academy. Currently, she heads up the Peak Performers Mentor Program, trains Black Belt and Green Belt courses, and works with agencies to help foster and support innovation. Sophia's "bright spot" at work is getting to work with so many different departments and sharing tools that allow others to see their own innovations make a difference. Previously, she worked with Rocky Mountain Human Services in both their Adult Services, case management for adults with developmental disabilities, as well as in their Educational Department teaching career planning classes. Sophia was a trained Montessori teacher and has taught High School and Middle School in both Ecuador and Chile.
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