To Mayor Peduto and Chief of Staff Gilman

Come Live Over Here, Invite, Parenting, Proposal, Wellness


Video Story: Kick-off Presentation and a call to meet as soon as possible.

A worry and a suggestion for a solution for 200

Lots of doubt flow these days concerning our city, the economy and the health of many people. You've been sending some great messages. I have especially enjoyed seeing Dan Gilman's social media posts concerning the virus. He has been with a clear voice -- reassuring to witness. 

With much to do, a cratering economy, and trying to out-run this virus, lets hope our scientists and health care workers are busting it -- working to the brink. But, lets not overlook the kids.

The city and county's summer jobs program for the youth is certain to take drastic turns. 

Hopefully jobs, experiences and compensations don't evaporate.

In striving for a productive summer for some, my offer to the city is to supervise up to 200 young men and women (100 of each) in a meaningful, fully virtual, 2020 summer jobs program that combines sports, literacy and technology. 

The recent mention of digital divide issues within the city is important. Financial support from city hall could go to addressing many of those needs with PPS students this summer too. But my aim for summer, given my background in recreation, literacy, swimming and the internet -- is less to academics.

Let's use summer 2020 to build a project for the summer of 2021. Let's leverage the youth's creativity to research and design an all-city sports and literacy camp. This year's summer jobs program can have a goal and purpose.

History, Trust, Credibility

My kids went through Pittsburgh Public Schools. PPS could have a role in the summer jobs program. Perhaps a some of the summer jobs money for 2020 could be devote it PPS for ramping up the tech for summer school and academics. But, Citiparks and/or the mayor office would be more ideal.

This call's mention of my kids speaks to my principle of quality programming. The aim for our city's kids must be good enough for my own children. As a Pittsburgh parent, activities not well suited nor of high quality for my own children's participation, isn't worthy of my energy, nor that of the greater community.

Older son, E

Erik and his classmates hosted a candidates' debate at the school auditorium that helped in flipping the switch in the journey to the Mayor's office.

Recently, Erik pulled out of New York City to work remotely as an entrepreneur, raising capital, producing a product.

Younger son, G

Grant, once an un-paid summer intern in city hall, is finishing his final week of undergraduate studies at Tulane in New Orleans.

He didn't get to play with his club water polo team nor swim in open-water races this semester. He was signed up to do a 10k swim in Miami and a 12-and-a-half swim in June off of the Florida Keys. Rather, just home fitness in his NOLA apartment.

Medical school begins in August.

Pittsburgh, a sports town

Sports participation and even going outside has been suspended. Spring sports -- gone. This winter's State Swimming & Diving Championships was called off. I value the Olympics and cheer for the black-and-gold, but my real love is for playing well with others among our kids in our neighborhoods. Let's triple down on what it means to be fit, healthy and to exercise in life-long ways, for fun and personal wellness.

The mind and body balance is important, especially this summer with our teens and young adults. Social support and positive interactions are critical. Parks are for re-creation. But our focus can't be in the physical group play, but in the internal skills from goal-setting and self-talk to yoga and coding Zapier zaps.

All City Sports Camp, 2021

Hamstring Stretch in Homewood with Water Polo Players

Tech Literacy.

The mind leads and the body follows.

We can teach about open source. Let's listen to podcasts, and make our own. Let's read wikipedia and craft our own wiki pages. Kids can code apps and develop websites with WordPress. A sports purpose with our athletic and high-tech contacts can give great context and interesting assignments. Our job training of lifeguards can resume with blended learning, setting the stage for the future work force. 

Impossible Is Nothing

We can stand with 200 youth in projects in the summer of 2020 with goals and outcomes that makes a difference for 2021.

Let's get the youth working in the knowledge economy!

We're not in a factory town and in a factory time. We need to have fun projects that are with purpose so that the kids want to be engaged and learn. These resources and their application to the kids are in my domain. Sharing a line up of tools and projects and outcomes is possible in further discussions. However, we'd need to see the value of getting our cadre of young adults into the knowledge economy as the new, driving mission. 

Mark Rauterkus = 412-298-3432. 

Bonus section: Check out this podcast


About the author 

Mark Rauterkus

Swim, SKWIM and water polo coach in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Also the webmaster for the International Swim Coaches Association and a publisher at,, and a former small-press, Sports Support Syndicate. Former free-market candidate for public office on various occasions, generally as a Libertarian.

You may also like

Roland is missed by many.

Roland is missed by many.

Going to speak on Saturday to fellow PA high school coaches

Going to speak on Saturday to fellow PA high school coaches

May 19, 2023 — PPS holds Take A FATHER To School Day, again!

May 19, 2023 — PPS holds Take A FATHER To School Day, again!
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Subscribe to our newsletter now!