FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON D.C. (May 18, 2016) —
Today, KaBOOM!, the national nonprofit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve through play, awards 257 communities with the recognition as a 2016 Playful City USA. These 257 family-friendly cities are selected for their leadership in making it easy for all kids to get balanced and active play in their neighborhoods, and have pledged to integrate play as a solution to tackle a number of urgent challenges plaguing our society in ways that benefit kids growing up in poverty.
In its 10th year, Playful City USA is a national recognition program that honors cities and towns for taking bold steps to create more play opportunities for all kids. The KaBOOM! Playful City USA program has inspired infrastructure investments, programs and policy changes among cities across the country.
To see the full list of the 257 communities named 2016 Playful City USA honorees, or for more information about the Playful City USA program, visit playfulcityusa.org.
"We are thrilled to recognize cities that invest in putting kids first," said KaBOOM! CEO James Siegal. "Balanced and active play is crucial to ensuring kids— and the places they live— thrive. By integrating play into cities, the leaders of our Playful City USA communities recognize that kids and families want to live in close proximity to safe places to play."
Playful City USA honorees range from 10 year honorees Atlanta, GA and Tucson, AZ, to first-time recipients Richmond, VA and Boise, ID. While they vary in size and geography, these communities are all engaging their citizens to reimagine cities with kids in mind.
"We are honored to be recognized for the 9th year as a KaBOOM! Playful City USA," said Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Orlando, FL. "Our children are the future of our community and the City of Orlando is committed to ensuring happy, healthy futures for our youth. I am proud that our community is a national leader in this effort as we continue to work to change our children's lives and help them to lead healthier, physically active lifestyles."
In addition to the 2016 Playful City USA recognition, KaBOOM! recently launched the KaBOOM! Play Everywhere Challenge, a national competition to share ideas for making communities more playful by adding play to places that don’t usually have it— from sidewalks to bus stops to vacant lots and beyond— and to win a share of $1 million to help bring those ideas to life. To apply, visit playeverywhere.kaboom.org.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – especially those living in poverty – the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play. KaBOOM! inspires communities to make play the easy choice and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of PLAYces. KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build or improve more than 17,000 playspaces, engage over 1.5 million volunteers and serve nearly 10 million kids. To learn why play matters for all kids, visit kaboom.org and join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom, facebook.com/kaboom, and instagram.com/kaboom. #playmatters #PLAYceforKids