At KaBOOM!, our tagline is “it starts with a playground,” and our friends at Pecan Park Elementary in Jackson, Mississippi have proven this time and time again. After completing a KaBOOM! playground build back in 2006, Principal Wanda Quon was inspired to keep improving the school to make her students and her community healthier.
Her extraordinary efforts have recently caught the eye of First Lady Michelle Obama, who is touring Pecan Park Elementary today as she works to spread the word about her “Let’s Move” campaign. The campaign aims to reduce childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles.
After Principal Quon partnered with KaBOOM! to build a playground, she went on to expand it into a comprehensive Wellness Area, which includes a quarter-mile walking track and cardiovascular stations. She also won a grant to provide free fruits and vegetables to students throughout the school day. Principal Quon’s focus on active and healthy living has paid off, and it’s not only students who are reaping the rewards. Community members use the school facilities, and children bring their parents there for quality family time.
To celebrate the school’s success, the whole community came together to host a KaBOOM! Play Day last year. Wanda told KaBOOM!,, “I believe it is our obligation to educate the whole child… I want my students to learn how to play and enjoy it.”
Apparently word has gotten out, and now even the First Lady is taking notice. To think, it all started with a playground.