National Non-Profit KaBOOM! Partners with Eleven Equipment Vendors And Offers Grants to Help Communities End the Play Deficit

In order to help end the Play Deficit that’s harming America’s children, national non-profit KaBOOM! has entered into a partnership with eleven of the playground equipment industry’s top vendors, making it easier for communities to find the right vendor to build playgrounds for their children.  In addition to vendor recommendations, KaBOOM! is also offering communities opportunities to earn grants to help make their playground dreams a reality.  KaBOOM! currently has Let’s Play Grants available courtesy of Let’s Play – a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to get kids and families active nationwide.

Every year KaBOOM! works with hundreds of communities to organize all-volunteer build-in-a-day playgrounds, but the need for new playgrounds surpasses these efforts. First Lady Michelle Obama herself called on people everywhere to give their time to build playgrounds in their communities.  "We can't underestimate the value of having safe and quality playgrounds in every single community."

This new partnership between KaBOOM! and top equipment vendors reflects a growing understanding of the importance of play and playgrounds in the health and happiness of children.  A recent CDC study found that only one in five children had a playground within walking distance.  Another study showed that children living near a park or playground were five times more likely to be a healthy weight.  To help guide communities through the playground building process, KaBOOM! created the DIY Project Planner (http://projects.kaboom.org) which allows communities to self-organize, connect with experienced playground builders and share tips and advice with fellow play advocates.  The DIY Project Planner also provides users with information on KaBOOM! Preferred Vendors.

Preferred Vendors include:

BCI Burke
BigToys
GameTime
Landscape Structures, Inc.
Little Tikes Commercial
Miracle Recreation Equipment Company
Play and Park Structures
Playland International
Playworld Systems, Inc.
Progressive Design Playgrounds
WOW Playgrounds

To launch this year’s partnership, members of the KaBOOM! Preferred Vendor program are participating in several playground-building grant initiatives.  The first set of grants are part of the first Let's Play initiative – a $15 million, three-year commitment to KaBOOM! from Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS).  With additional support from KaBOOM! Preferred Vendors, through Let's Play, DPS and KaBOOM! will build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefiting an estimated five million children across North America.

Some of the available Let's Play grants include:

  • Let's Play Playground Construction Grants: To help cities and community organizations plan and build new playgrounds.
  • Let's Play Playground Improvement Grants: To help community organizations improve existing playgrounds by adding shade structures or other play equipment.

The first five Let's Play grants to be awarded will go to the winners of the KaBOOM! "Promote Your Playground" video contest, an interactive competition that invites KaBOOM! DIY Tool users to upload a short video showing why their community needs a playground.  The top-10 video entries competing for five $15,000 Let's Play grants are now available online at LetsPlay.com. Five of the finalists will be selected by a public vote to win a grant to be used for new playground equipment. The voting period opens online today and runs through Sunday, May 15.

Consumers are encouraged to visit www.LetsPlay.com to apply for grants, join the conversation, and learn how to get involved in the partnership