FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK, NY (June 25, 2010) —
A safe, developmentally appropriate neighborhood recreation area is as fundamental to a healthy, happy childhood as a good school. This summer, Parents magazine, KaBOOM!, the nonprofit organization on a mission to save play, and Foresters™, a life insurance provider that champions the well-being of families, invite communities to support the idea that play is a right of all children by coming together to celebrate, rehabilitate or build local outdoor spaces.
The goal of the contest, which launched with Parents magazine’s July issue, is to make sure that there is a safe, great playground within walking distance of every child. To enter, parents can nominate their local park, community space, or playground between now and August 20 on www.parents.com/playground. The website also offers easy, fun tools to help playspaces collect points. The more points that each playspace accumulates; the more likely it is to be a winner. Points are accumulated as people from the community post pictures, host meet ups and rally other community members to “virtually” support their local playspace.
“It’s so important for communities to create a safe place for children to play,” says Dana Points, editor in chief of Parents. “It may look like fun and games, but playgrounds and what unfolds in them are more important to our kids and communities than many of us realize.”
”Playgrounds are not only critical for bringing children together to get active, but they bring whole communities together. Parks and playgrounds are shared spaces where neighbors meet and working together to support a playground is a great way to help strengthen a whole community” said Darell Hammond, CEO and Co-founder of KaBOOM!.
The top 50 play spaces with the most votes will be narrowed down to ten semifinalists by a panel of judges. Three winners will be selected by an online public vote. Each of the three winners will receive an Imagination Playground™ in a Box, designed by architect David Rockwell. With a focus on loose parts, Imagination Playground™ offers a changing array of elements that allow children to constantly reconfigure their environment and design their own course of play. Giant foam blocks, mats, wagons, fabric and crates overflow with creative potential for children to play, dream, build and explore endless possibilities. Each Imagination Playground™ in a Box is worth $25,000. For more information about these playgrounds, go to www.imaginationplayground.org.
“Foresters recognizes that changing times have made it more difficult for families to spent time together. Through our support of KaBOOM! playground initiatives, Foresters is helping to create safe play-spaces for children and parents to spend time together and get to know other families in their community,” said Kasia Czarski, SVP, Chief Membership and Marketing Officer, Foresters.
“We are so thrilled to see Imagination Playground™ make its way into communities around the country,” claims David Rockwell, founder and CEO of Rockwell Group. “It is a thrill to be working with our partners to provide children with the resources and tools they need to play in an area that nurtures creativity and collaboration.”
Parents, published monthly by Meredith Corporation, has been America's #1 family magazine for more than 80 years. Since its inception in 1926, it has been a trusted source by every generation of parents. Currently, the magazine is a powerful community of nearly 15 million readers devoted to supporting the efforts of parents, educators and other citizens who strive to make the world a better place for our children. Parents can be found online at www.parents.com.
For Parents Magazine:
Foresters™ is a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, fraternal benefit society, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9.
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.