FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

KaBOOM! offers "shovel-ready" projects to support First Lady's anti-obesity initiative

WASHINGTON D.C. (February 04, 2010) — 

As First Lady Michelle Obama prepares to launch her campaign against childhood obesity on Tuesday, KaBOOM! CEO Darell Hammond has pledged support for the initiative and said his national playground-building organization offers a "shovel-ready" solution to help get kids moving.

KaBOOM! uses corporate and individual donations to help communities build playgrounds in underserved neighborhoods. Over the past 14 years the organization has helped build more than 1,700 playgrounds across the U.S., mostly in inner cities.

"Like us, Mrs. Obama knows that having a great playground nearby is a key ingredient in giving kids a healthy, active life," said Hammond. "That's why she volunteered last year on a KaBOOM! build, and why she called our work ‘necessary … to the health of the entire nation.' We're looking forward to working with new partners inspired by her call to fight childhood obesity."

Specifically, Hammond urged corporations to support non-profits – KaBOOM! and others – that can make a quick, measurable difference in kids' activity levels. "KaBOOM! has turn-key programs that can make a fast but lasting impact in child-rich but playground poor communities," he said. "These neighborhoods are full of children who hunger for play – and the impact on their young lives is both immediate and profound." Since a Harris Interactive study found that 59% of parents and 69% of low-income parents report there is no playground in their neighborhood, getting playgrounds built near where children live is a key factor in ensuring they're active every day.

To combat childhood obesity on the local and national level, KaBOOM! offers turn-key programs for corporations, local governments, neighborhoods and individuals. By forming corporate partnerships, KaBOOM! is able to fund playground builds in underserved areas. Currently, 93 local governments are working with KaBOOM! as part of the Playful City USA program, which gets kids active and healthy through play by providing mayors with proven strategies, best practices and tools that bring public and private sectors together and engage citizens. Thousands of citizens and schools are using the Do-It-Yourself tools on kaboom.org, which walk them step-by-step through the process of building a playground in their community.

KaBOOM! has already helped thousands of communities across the country turn the tide on childhood obesity by ensuring that children have the time and space to play every day. And KaBOOM! has the capacity to help thousands more. Anyone interested in answering the First Lady's call to action can get more information on the power of play at www.kaboom.org.

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About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.5 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters, visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.