The results are in! For the past four weeks, 10 communities across the country have been tirelessly campaigning to get out the vote for a chance to win a grant from Mott’s and NFL PLAY 60. These communities all participated in our Play Day program, gathering in September for a day of games, advocacy activities, and playspace improvement projects.
A panel of judges selected the top ten Play Days; then we opened the final round to the public for a vote. We applaud all the finalists for mobilizing their communities and taking initiative to improve their local playgrounds. And now, a drum roll please...
First Place ($10,000 grant)
South Blvd FLAIM Work for Fun Day
Baton Rouge, La.—Organizers worked side-by-side with parents and service fraternity members to improve the area around the school, leveraging donated materials from local companies, while the kids enjoyed games. A compelling letter to the editor and a widely publicized event led to a great day for all involved. They are working toward building a new playspace to bring the outside appeal of the grounds in line with the neighborhood and to reflect the great programs inside the school.
Second Place ($7,500 grant)
Lions Park Play Day
Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.—Over 1,000 people attended this Play Day and made sure that every kid got at least 60 minutes of play. Each child explored the games at a play station before rotating to the next one. Many parents got involved in the day by volunteering to assist with games and the stepping stones project. It was a family event with the hope of encouraging stronger community bonds.
Runners-Ups ($2,500 grants)
Concordia Place Fall into Fun
Chicago, Ill.—This Play Day was fun for the whole community! Children decorated flower boxes and later planted pansies. They also tied unity ribbons to the fence, to symbolize that all children, regardless of any differences, need to play. At the end of the day, the kids, parents, neighbors, and teachers signed nine Beach Ball Petitions to advocate for play.
Cora Kelly STEM Playground Day
Alexandria, Va.—Parents partnered with local organizations and businesses to make their Play Day a real success for all members of the community. The kids participated in cleaning up the play space and improving their playing field so they can stay active! The Play Day also became a kickoff event for their new playground, which will serve over 400 students of all ability levels.
Yachats Community Play Day
Yachats, Ore.—Participants at this Play Day improved a Peace Garden and reviewed plans for a new treehouse project. The kids pitched in on the improvement project as well as enjoying the fun activities, helping to pull weeds and improve the park. The event was held rain-or-shine, showing their dedication to play, and thoughtfully included activities for fun-loving kids of all ages!