FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON D.C. (March 19, 2012) —
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.
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:
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
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.