November 17, 2011

It started with a playground

“I’m the Principal at Pecan Park Elementary School in Jackson, Mississippi. Mississippi has the highest obesity rate in the country, and every day I look at my students and know that if nothing is done they will literally grow into those statistics. I looked around at my urban, inner city school, with its transient population. Most people saw it as a less than ideal place for a wellness revolution. I disagreed.

For me, it really did start with a playground. In May of 2006 we built our fantastic new KaBOOM! playground, but that was just the beginning. The playground spawned a walking trail around it for students and adults, which inspired 7 cardio stations that popped up along the trail, which leveraged a grant for fresh fruit & vegetable snacks for every kid during the school year.

This year we’ll add a winter and spring garden to the school, and thanks to local community support, our parents have free access to a local gym and trainers come to the school 3 times a week to work with teachers and other school employees. I’m happy to say that since 2006 I’ve literally seen a physical change in my community, and I’m not going to stop now.”

– Wanda Quon, Jackson, MS

Wanda has created a whole new mindset at her school and in her community. It started with a dream, it started with KaBOOM!

Play it forward and help us keep inspiring leaders like Wanda across the country.

kaboom! news, play it forward, playground, jackson, mississippi