KaBOOM! News


  • I had the drive, KaBOOM! had the tools

    Posted on March 19, 2012
    KaBOOM! News, Play It Forward, recess, mom, kentucky, louisville, playground

    "I have never been comfortable taking a back seat, especially when my kids (Seth, Jonah and Finn) are involved. I began volunteering at Seth’s school when he was kindergarten and I haven’t stopped. From being a room mom to the PTA and even a member of the Louisville Mayor’s Health Hometown Movement schools committee – I’ll stop at nothing to make sure my kids, and the rest of the kids in our community, have access to the very best education possible. Every child, regardless of background can accomplish and achieve their goals if they know that a community is supporting them and cheering them on. I’m just lucky enough to be one of the cheerleaders.

    In 2009 that meant a bringing a new playground to our elementary school. I had the drive, and KaBOOM! had the tools. Together with my partner-in-play, Kassi Clifford, and our school PTA, and with the KaBOOM! do-it-yourself project planner as our guide, we built a great new playground – in just one amazing day!

    I so strongly believe that play and recess should not be extras or options, but should be a given part of a daily routine. If we are going to have a future filled with responsible adults we need to help create a world where all children understand collaboration, creativity, and cooperation. And I know KaBOOM! feels the same way."

    – Myrdin Thompson, Louisville, KY

    KaBOOM! supports the work of PLAY advocates like Myrdin every day. From online project planners to trainings and community outreach, together we can work to make play a reality for every child in America.

  • Building a community of park lovers

    Posted on March 19, 2012
    KaBOOM! News, Play It Forward, florida, map of play, playmakers, mom

    "In 2002 I was a new mom with an active 1-year old son. One of my friends recommended a brand new playground in town. But, when I got there, everything was wrong. The playground was for older kids, the equipment reached much too high off the ground for my little guy. We had to go back home – not something easy to explain to a toddler.

    That’s the moment my play spark ignited – why wasn’t there a place where moms like me could rate and map playgrounds? One place that had pictures, information about restrooms, type of equipment, parking, shade, age-appropriateness, and the million others things that moms need to think about before heading to a park?
     
    I ran with it. I started out with a column in my MOMS Club newsletter and eventually coined the term 'playground blogger.' In November of 2008, with my blog getting just 30 visitors a month, I discovered KaBOOM! and the Map of Play. The KaBOOM! concept was EXACTLY what I envisioned all those years before – and it was already operating on a national scale!

    Since then I’ve worked with KaBOOM! as a local expert to improve and expand the map, make it more mom-friendly and easier to use. Working together, just 3 years later, my blog now reaches 14,000 people a month during the summer. Orange County is a metropolis of over 3 million people, but I've built a community of park lovers.

  • Building a great place to play in St. Louis

    Posted on March 19, 2012
    KaBOOM! News, Play It Forward, missouri, neighborhood, community, playground, st louis

    On April 6th, 2011 KaBOOM!, the Salvation Army Temple Corps Community Center and Energizer built a great new place to play in St. Louis. While at a community carnival a week after Build Day, a group of concerned parents approached Steve and John (who had helped lead the build) about vandalism and other inappropriate activities happening on the playground after hours. They decided they right then and there that they will be forming a neighborhood watch group to take care of the playground!

    Play it forward with a donation today to support our model of community-built playgrounds which give communities ownership and pride in their great new places to play.

  • KaBOOM! CEO makes Forbes' list of world's top social entrepreneurs

    Posted on March 19, 2012
    KaBOOM! News, darell hammond, forbes, social entrepreneur, awards

    KaBOOM! Founder and CEO, Darell Hammond, was recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the top 30 social entrepreneurs in the world. In determining their inaugural Impact 30 list of people using business to solve the world's most pressing social problems, Forbes turned to a panel of experts to "identify the leading innovators across health, education, finance and other sectors."

    In selecting Hammond they not only recognized his unique talents in building a movement to save play, but also that play is critical to the health and well-being of our children. In fact, Jill Vialet, CEO and Founder of frequent KaBOOM! partner, Playworks, also made the list, further illustrating the growing momentum around the cause of play.

    See the full Impact 30 list here.

  • Making friends on a playground

    Posted on March 19, 2012
    KaBOOM! News, Play It Forward, champaign, playground, illinois

    “Our kids have not had a safe place to interact with other kids until KaBOOM! helped build a playground three blocks from our home. Now they go and play more and through the build my wife and I made some new friends in our area. Thanks. I think you guys are doing a wonderful thing, keep up the good work.”

     – Steve Green, Champaign, IL

    Play it forward with a donation today to help us give all kids a safe place to play within walking distance of their home.

  • Play for all kids

    Posted on March 19, 2012
    KaBOOM! News, Play It Forward, accessibility, free play, pittsburgh, pennsylvania

    “When my son was born sixteen years ago, my life changed. As a new mom of a child with a disability I was quickly realizing how many challenges and hurdles we would both face in the years ahead. But my heart broke when I realized that there were no real playgrounds, or any type of place for my son to play with other children in an unstructured way. Play is a necessity for all children, and especially important for disabled kids. I knew I had to take action.

    With the help of four other moms we started the Center for Creative Play, and indoor play space for unstructured play that was accessible for all children. Within 5 years we had over 45,000 visitors a year. We started working on accessible playground across the country and worked with KaBOOM! to make accessible playgrounds a reality.”

    – Mara Kaplan, Pittsburgh, PA

    Mara saw a need and worked to fill it. Her passion for building accessible playgrounds is contagious and her work will continue until all kids have a great place to play.

    Play it forward with a donation to help bring play to ALL kids, without exception.

  • The fourth time's the charm

    Posted on March 19, 2012
    KaBOOM! News, Play It Forward, massachusetts, community, playground, worcester

    "My first playground project presented many challenges. The arsenic-laced soil where they playground was supposed to be caused a $60,000 problem and a year’s delay. The second playground I built was another challenge – the playground equipment had been purchased years before, and had, by then, fallen out of code with the American Disability Act.

    But, we saw this as a blessing in disguise – while we had to fundraise to purchase additional playground equipment – the new equipment meant the playground would be accessible to ALL children. The third playground project I led was on the rooftop of an 18-floor building with a broken freight elevator. That, paired with epic heat and torrential downpours made for possibly the worst volunteer day I’d ever had.

    You have to wonder why anyone, after all that, would build a fourth playground, which is what I did this summer. I work in early childhood development in Worcester, MA. Years ago we did a study as to why so many kids had developmental delays and one obvious need bubbled to the top – we needed more and better playgrounds. I knew what I had to do, and I went to KaBOOM! for help.

    After attending several days of training, and working alongside KaBOOM! to build a great new place to play, I returned home and got to work. Four amazing playgrounds later, I know it was worth all the blood, sweat and tears that went into them. I can see it in the faces of the kids playing there every day."

    – Dianne Bruce, Worcester, MA

  • Watching PLAY happen

    Posted on March 19, 2012
    KaBOOM! News, Play It Forward, the colony, playground, texas

    "I am on the Board of our local Community Development Corporation in my town - The Colony - in Texas. In my position I get to help direct tax payer dollars to community enrichment and recreation projects - like parks, trails and playgrounds. I had always viewed this as a big responsibility, which I took very seriously. When we were installing new playgrounds I would be sure to inspect each one - did we get all the parts we paid for? Was it installed correctly? Is it well-lit? Was there any graffiti on the equipment? I viewed my role in a very utilitarian light.

    Then, one summer afternoon, everything changed. I brought my grandson, Jace, to see one of the new playgrounds we'd just installed. While Jace was playing I sat down on a bench and started watching the other kids on the playground that day - four 10 year old boys. In front of my eyes I watched PLAY happen. One boy yelled to the other 'I need you on the bridge, Captain!' and others were working to make the ship 'space bound' from the 'engine room.'

  • Playful pirates

    Posted on March 19, 2012
    KaBOOM! News, Play It Forward, diy, playground, stillwater, new york

    “I was just flipping through a magazine the summer of 2010 when an article about KaBOOM! stirred something in me. There was a deserted lot in my neighborhood that had stood empty and vacant for over 16 years. We had been promised a playground for years – it was time for action.  Along with three other parents in the community, we decided to start a 501C3 and stop waiting.

    It started with the KaBOOM! Imagination Playground giveaway, in which we placed 5th! Our group got to work, and the KaBOOM! online resources, webinars and trainings were an invaluable resource. We began fundraising, learning about volunteer management, learning about how to manage a community build – all thanks to the online project planner. We had never done anything like this before, but we were determined to make a change.

    This summer, less than a year after we started, a new playground went up in that barren, empty lot. As we raised the mast on the new pirate-ship themed playground, we knew it was something we would never forget. Nicole Distefano, our secretary, said it best, ‘I have a profound respect for playgrounds now.’”

     – Jacqueline Miller, Stillwater, NY

    The Friends of the Stillwater Glen Hollow Park knew their community needed a playground, they knew where to go to learn how to do it, and they built it with the resources from their own community.

  • Building a great place to play in Brooklyn

    Posted on March 19, 2012
    KaBOOM! News, Play It Forward, brooklyn, playground, new york

    On April 21st, 2011 KaBOOM!, Nuestros Ninos CD School and Dr Pepper Snapple Group built a great new place to play in Brooklyn.

    Now, the kids are more tired and getting tons of exercise running around, on and under their new playground. For the first time they have a hard time getting the kids to go inside.

    Play it forward with a donation today, because kids need play to stay healthy.