FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 12, 2014) —
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama joined representatives from KaBOOM!, MyGoodDeed, AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, Corporation for National and Community Service, The Inspired Teaching School, and Washington community members to commemorate this year's National Day of Service and Remembrance by participating in a playground build and service projects to improve the lives of local children though play.
The new playground was built for The Inspired Teaching School and will positively impact more than 500 children by providing a safe place for them to get the play they need to thrive. One of the service projects the President and First Lady participated in was the assembly of more than 300 Go Out and Play! Backpacks to bring balanced and active play to local kids in need. The play packs will be donated to two area nonprofits dedicated to improving the lives of homeless children – DC Homeless Children Playtime Project and Extraordinary Birthday Parties.
The service projects and playground build illustrated the importance of play and the bonds it forges with children and the caring adults in their lives. It also served as a shining example of how a community, by bringing together different partners and serving together, can ensure kids get the playful childhood they deserve.
KaBOOM! alumna and former AmeriCorps volunteer, Nicole Newman, was also on-site to share her experience. Nicole participated in a KaBOOM! playground design day more than 13 years ago, as a child living at Lydia's House. Her experience – of helping to create a safe place to play for herself and her friends; rolling up her sleeves and volunteering for a good cause; and watching something as seemingly simple as play help the children and families at Lydia's House deal with the real-world problems putting them at risk for toxic stress – left a lifelong impression on her. She has since dedicated her life to community service and has participated in a KaBOOM! playground build process as an adult.
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.