Next week's Conference on Volunteering and Service in San Francisco, Calif. will not only feature First Lady Michelle Obama and California’s first lady Maria Shiver during the opening session, but will also serve as the official kick-off to the United We Serve summer initiative, a program intended to renew the American spirit of volunteerism and service.
As part of the events surrounding the conference, KaBOOM! and California Volunteers will partner to build a great new place to play at the Bret Harte Elementary School in San Francisco, Calif. on Monday. KaBOOM! will also premiere its United We Serve program, "Pledge Allegiance to Play" next week. Pledge Allegiance to Play will provide volunteers, new and old, with ways they can engage with local issues and improve their communities. Visit kaboom.org then to see all the exciting things you can do to support your community!
The Conference on Volunteering and Service, co-sponsored by the Points of Light Institute and the Corporation for National and Community Service, will serve as the world's largest gathering of volunteer and service leaders from the nonprofit, government, and corporate sectors and aims to recharge, engage and bring back new ideas and civic energy to strengthen the reach and impact of the participating organizations.
Related articles: Michelle Obama's SF visit: The frenzy begins (San Francisco Chronicle) - Michelle Obama to speak Monday at San Francisco conference (Mercury News)
Also, this build has been featured in several news outlets:
I'm so excited for this - check out the press release below! We're going to be posting updates as the build progresses this week on Twitter and in our photo galleries - stay tuned!
Designed by kids, built by volunteers:
Omidyar network, YMCA of Honolulu, national non-profit KaBOOM! work with local volunteers to build playground at YMCA Camp H.R. Erdman
WAIALUA – Oahu’s children will soon have a new, 29,000 square foot playground at the YMCA of Honolulu’s Camp H.R. Erdman that celebrates nature in a fun and exciting way. The new playground is based on drawings provided by children from the Camp and the surrounding area who attended a Design Day in January.
From Wednesday, June 3 through Saturday, June 6, more than 250 volunteers from the YMCA of Honolulu and residents of the community will join forces with organizers from national non-profit KaBOOM! to construct a Nature Built playground at the Camp. The dedication ceremony is at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 6 at the Camp.
The new playground will be a unique blend of natural elements in a landscape designed to serve as a community playground for years to come. Native plants and materials will be used to create the spacious playground, which will also function as an educational tool on environmental sustainability for the Camp’s children.
Features of the new playground include:
The playground will also feature an Imagination Playground™ in a BOX - a portable series of loose parts, sand and water created by KaBOOM! and internationally renowned architect David Rockwell that elicits highly creative and interactive play among children.
“We’ve helped communities build more than 1,600 playspaces in the last 13 years, but this is our very first Nature Built playground,” said Darell Hammond, KaBOOM! CEO and Co-Founder. “When we’re finished, we’ll have a lasting testament to the importance of children having a great place to play, an example of how creativity can inspire environmentally friendly practices and a clear indication of what can be accomplished with the sweat equity of volunteers working together.”
YMCA Camp Erdman has been providing outdoor camp, recreational and environmental education experiences for over 80 years. Each year, children from all over Hawaii visit YMCA Camp Erdman to live, learn and have fun in the great outdoors.
"We are so excited to be selected as the location for the first Nature Built playground of this kind and especially proud of the fact that kids from our community were able to help design it," said Josh Heimowitz, executive director of YMCA Camp Erdman. "Over the years, generations of Hawaii residents have been creating memories at YMCA's Camp Erdman and we are delighted to continue to expand the activities we offer."
Construction on the new playground will commence with a kickoff ceremony on Wednesday, June 3 at 9 a.m. On Wednesday, June 3 through Friday, June 5, volunteers will work on building the playground from 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. On Saturday, June 6, volunteers will gather at 9:30 a.m. and work until the playground’s completion in the afternoon. A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held onsite at 3 p.m. A reception and dinner will follow for all volunteers involved with the project.
"As an Oahu resident and mom, I'm happy and humbled to be part of this project. Every child deserves a safe and fun place to play, just as I had growing up here," said Pam Omidyar, co-founder of Omidyar Network. "The KaBOOM! playground on the North Shore will also serve as a catalyst for teaching the next generation about sustainability and respect for our island home."
Additional contributors to the project include: Aloha United Way, Architects Hawaii LTD., Complete Tent Rental, Geico, HFM Food Service, Kokua Hawaii Foundation, Lost at Sea, Rotary Club of Honolulu, Sky Dive Hawaii, TR3EES, Turtle Bay Resort, Waialua Soda Works, Waimea Falls Grill and Y.Hata & Company.
YMCA of Honolulu/Camp H.R. Erdman
For 140 years, the YMCA of Honolulu has been a place where friends and neighbors come together to build strong communities by serving thousands of children, teens and adults. Programs offered include: before and after school care, youth sports, teen leadership programs, camp, substance abuse counseling and treatment, and health and wellness. The YMCA of Honolulu operates nine branches throughout Oahu.
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic, social, and political change. To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $270 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple investment areas, including microfinance, property rights, government transparency, and social media. To learn more about Omidyar Network, please visit www.omidyar.com.
KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,600 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including an online community, regional and national trainings, grants, publications and the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, which includes Playful City USA and Playmakers – a national network of individual advocates for play. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.
In Lower Manhattan, the Burling Slip project - a joint effort between NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and the Rockwell Group - was officially kicked off May 7 with the celebration of the ground-breaking for the first site-specific Imagination Playground™ in Burling Slip at South Street Seaport!
Our KaBOOM! CEO and COO were there celebrating with our friends from NYC Parks and Recreation and the Rockwell Group, along with 150 adults and 75 kids.
Here's a snippet from the press release:
Imagination Playground is the product of over five years of David Rockwell’s extensive research on play and playgrounds. It is a progressive concept in children’s play that offers a rich environment of diverse materials that encourage unstructured, child-directed “free play,” where children determine their own activities, alone and with their peers. After developing Imagination Playground, Rockwell Group approached the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, who collaborated to realize this new play space at Burling Slip in lower Manhattan.
By Lynne Jensen
New Orleans Times-Picayune
Jan. 22, 2009
Thanks to KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization that helps communities build playgrounds, children living Uptown, downtown, in eastern New Orleans and along the lakefront are enjoying refurbished play spots in areas that were devastated after Hurricane Katrina.
Shortly after Katrina and Rita ravaged the Gulf Coast, KaBOOM! launched Operation Playground with a mission of building 100 playgrounds in the region.
Today, Operation REACH and The Chrysler Foundation are joining with KaBOOM! to build a newly designed playground at The Knowledge Garden Child Development Center at 2115 Carondelet St., which serves hundreds of children.
Designed by kids, built by volunteers:
State Farm/State Farm Bayou Classic and KaBOOM!
team up to build new playground in just one day for New Orleans children at
Abramson Science & Technology Charter School
NEW ORLEANS – More than 200 volunteers from State Farm/State Farm Bayou Classic, organizers from KaBOOM! and residents of the New Orleans community will join forces on Friday, Nov. 28 to build a new, safe playground at the Abramson Science & Technology Charter School. The new playground’s design is based on drawings provided by children who attended a Design Day event in September.
The new playground will provide more than 400 children who attend the Abramson Science & Technology Charter School with a safe place to play. Currently, the children do not have a playground at the school to play on. The playspace is the third built by KaBOOM! and State Farm in conjunction with the State Farm Bayou Classic, and one of more than 215 KaBOOM! will lead across the country in 2008 in an effort to provide a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. The build is also part of Operation Playground – the KaBOOM! initiative to build playgrounds in areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
"State Farm is committed to make our communities better. With that shared motivation, State Farm agents, employees, family members, and friends are involved in multiple service efforts to help revitalize communities along the Gulf," said State Farm Marketing Vice President Pam El. "We are enthused to work in collaboration with building projects like Habitat for Humanity. Likewise, State Farm is proud to sponsor the KaBOOM! playground build for the third year during the State Farm Bayou Classic weekend to help restore hope and fun for the children and families in this area.”
In addition to the new playground, the students will receive some education on build day. State Farm’s Neighborhood of Knowledge® will be set up on site for the children of the Abramson Science & Technology Charter School. Neighborhood of Knowledge® is a showcase of fun and education featuring educational coloring books, child I.D. kits and more.
The playground build will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a kickoff ceremony and will conclude at 2:30 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the playground. On hand to celebrate the new playground for children will be (LIST OF VIPS). More information can be found at www.statefarmbayouclassic.com.
Abramson Science and Technology Charter School/Recovery School District
Abramson Science and Technology Charter School is one of 66 schools in the Recovery School District. Created by legislation passed in 2003, the RSD is a special school district administered by the Louisiana.
State Farm/State Farm Bayou Classic
State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. State Farm's 17,000 agents and 68,000 employees serve more than 78 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and more than 1.9 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 32 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com® or in Canada statefarm.ca®.
KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,500 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including an online community, regional and national trainings, grants, publications and the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, which includes Playful City USA and the Playmaker Network – a national network of individual advocates for play. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.
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We here at KaBOOM! love bloggers...especially these fantastic folks this week!
KaBOOM in Vancleave
Design. Build. Learn. Repeat.
Nov. 7, 2008
"After working with KaBOOM! on a shade structure in North Gulfport, I was asked to lead another tile project in Vancleave, MS, a mostly rural community about 30 minutes east and north of Biloxi. This KaBOOM! build was scheduled for October 25th, “Make A Difference Day”, and Hands On wanted to help out by using painted tiles to beautify part of the park."
Banana Smoothie Blog
Nov. 12, 2008
"So, I was looking through a dessert book that had brownies with special Christmas tins that you could get them shipped and gift wrapped in, and there was an insert within the magazine that had an ad for a nonprofit organization called KaBoom. Who would have thought that a nonprofit organization would be in a brownie magazine? The magazine is called Cheryl & Co. I don’t know if any of your have heard of them or not, but their brownies are delicious!"
Support the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder!
Nov. 13, 2008
"Help our ServiceNation partners at KaBOOM! win recognition for their great playspace finder."
Places to Play
Nov. 12, 2008
"As a mom, I do my best to make sure my kids play outside every day. They’re better behaved, better able to focus, and just generally happier, all of which make my life easier. So when the kids are bored with our neighborhood playgrounds, or when we’re visiting relatives, I go online to the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder to see what playgrounds are in the area."
The Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP is a new program designed to recognize NFL players who are making a positive impact in their local communities through charitable programs and contributions.
The Neighborhood MVP program will reward 17 players, one for each week of the regular season, with a football field refurbishment or a playground build in their honor and a donation to the charity of their choice. Each player will work with representatives from KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit whose vision is to create a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America, and volunteers from The Home Depot and the local community to complete the field refurbishment or playground build projects. Learn more about this program and vote for The Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP! [More]
At the end of the day Sept. 20, after building brand-new playgrounds in Chicago, Gulfport, Miami, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! will have built over 1,500 playspaces across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
The 1,500 playgrounds KaBOOM! has built, along with our generous funding partners and amazing community partners, serve more than 750,000 children each year!
We can’t wait to build 1,500 more!
In the summer of 2007, KaBOOM! tasked Northwestern University's ABCD Institute to undertake a one-year study to measure the impact our KaBOOM!-led builds have on communities.
The results are in, and findings indicate that when implemented appropriately, the KaBOOM! Community-Build process creates a lasting impact on the communities it partners with, both in terms of building capacity, enhancing community pride and cultivating KaBOOM!-leadership, as well as enhancing the play experience of neighborhood children.
Some of the findings include:
Download the executive summary (PDF, approx. 32Kb)
Download the presentation (PDF, approx. 700Kb)
By Mark C. White
Can the KaBOOM! community-build model be used around the globe to bring play opportunities to all children? A small group of Playmakers and I put the theory to the test in Poland.
Through the gracious generosity of KOMPAN, BigToys and extensive fundraising, we were able to not only complete one playground project, but two: one at a rural Polish orphanage (Dom Dziecka) and another at an elementary school in the city of Poznan. Dr. Melinda Bossenmeyer of Peaceful Playgrounds donated a complete set of recess hard surface play area stencils and a paint-striping machine, and I bought all the tools to bring with us with a $500 Home Depot gift card awarded to me last fall by KaBOOM!.
Day one. Upon arrival at Dom Dziecka "Droga" located in the small village of Goscieszyn Poland, we found two crates from KOMPAN delivered the previous week. After unloading and storing our luggage, we went immediately to work.
Day two. The first full day of the build went very quickly. The team divided informally into three separate groups to assemble the three pieces of equipment. The team dug all the holes except for those for the spring-loaded seesaw. We wanted to give the kids the opportunity to dig the holes and mix in the concrete for this piece of equipment; therefore ensuring ownership as well as a memorable experience.
Day three. The safety surfacing material was delivered. The kids were starting to arrive back from school, so we had an added resource of labor to move the safety surfacing and filled both "safe use zone" areas.
Day four. We headed for our next build site: King David School. The school rents a portion of a public middle school. The objective of this build was to promote trust and cooperation amongst the administration, the surrounding "block housing" neighborhood and the parents of the students who attend King David School. My Polish counterpart, Przemek, had every detail of the build process planned out on a spreadsheet for each day of the project. We had parent volunteers both days to help complete the project. It was great to see Poles and Americans working side by side. No language translation was necessary. The smiles and teamwork said it all! We were there for a common purpose….to build a playground for a school that had none.
Day five. The next morning we had an assembly with the children and staff of the school: the official celebration and grand opening of the new playground. The children presented us with a booklet they had made with playground artwork, including many thank you's. I presented KaBOOM! "I Am Play" Playmaker t-shirts to the principal and Przemek, to great cheers and applause from the children and staff.
Mark C. White, founder of Playgrounds of Peace, is the environmental/risk and safety manager for the Lee's Summit R-7 School District. He's been a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (NPSI) for eight years, is S.A.F.E. certified, and has served as a National Advisory Board member for the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS).