KABOOM! and Zbar Head to Capitol Hill Link copied!

May 6, 2024


This April, KABOOM!, in conjunction with Zbar, maker of the organic snack bar for kids, sponsored a trip that brought a group of young advocates to Washington, DC to meet with lawmakers and talk about the importance of equitable access to outdoor recreation. This effort builds upon KABOOM!’s ongoing commitment to center kid’s voices in every part of our work. Since our founding, children have played an important part in our playground design and build process. This engagement helps increase their sense of belonging in their playspaces and teaches them valuable lessons about civic engagement.

Bringing these young people to the Capitol is an extension of our kid-centered work. These kids, who represent four different areas of the country where KABOOM! has worked, got to ask members of Congress to give children all over the country the same opportunities they have had, namely the ability to be outdoors and enjoy all the benefits of play. For some, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that won’t be forgotten.

One of the benefits of being on a playground is that it helps kids develop self-confidence and become more willing to take risks. That sense of self-efficacy is critical to helping them use their voices to advocate for the things that they feel are important, like play. Research shows that when kids learn at an early age that they have a voice that people will listen to, they are more likely to be civically engaged as they get older.

In my time in Washington, DC, I was overwhelmingly pleased that our childhood imaginations and unspoken dreams could come true when KABOOM! and Zbar made them a reality. They empowered us to use our voices in advocating for storytelling and getting our voices heard by lawmakers, which can pave the way for expanding access to outdoor spaces and create a brighter, more inclusive, and equitable future for society.

Youth Advocate

It is our hope that the kids who participated in this advocacy day will take the lessons they learned during this trip home and apply them to other issues they care about. Whether they are fighting to help protect their futures from the effects of global climate change, to increase their access to nature, or to create a more equitable nation, the advocacy skills acquired during this trip have given them the confidence to influence the public conversation.

We are so appreciative of the time, effort, and preparation each of our four youth advocates put into this trip. Not only were they able to share their stories, but they also spoke about the policies needed to promote better health outcomes for their friends, their peers, and young people across this country through play and greater access to outdoor recreation. Their ability to do so with clarity and passion was a testament to the time and effort they put into preparing for this day. KABOOM! looks forward to doing more of these trips and increasing the number of opportunities young people have to make their voices heard at the Capitol and beyond.