September 18, 2009

Play Days start this weekend!

Play DaysHere's the official press release kicking off the 1,200+ Play Days happening this weekend across the world! If you attend one, be sure to bring your camera, then share your photos on your Play Day's site after the event! Check out some last-minute tips and ideas for your Play Day.

KaBOOM! Play Days bring more than 1,000 communities together to celebrate play and get kids off the couch
Kids in all 50 states, in 12 different countries and on every continent (Including Antarctica) get out to play from September 19-27

Washington, DC – September 15, 2009 – With children between the ages of eight and 18 spending on average 6.5 hours a day in front of the television or computer1, kids need a strong dose of good, old-fashioned, outdoor fun.  This September 19-27, more than 1,000 communities across the country and around the world will get playful by participating in KaBOOM! Play Days, free, fun-for-the-whole-family events that celebrate play, raise money and volunteers for park and playground improvement, and rally support for the cause of play.  KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to bringing play back into the lives of children, is presenting Play Days worldwide with help from long-time supporter KOOL-AID.  At each Play Day, communities will come together to host fun field-day style events for their kids and improve the parks where they play.

“It's no secret that play is key to healthy child development,” said Darell Hammond, CEO of KaBOOM!. “Research shows that active kids are healthier, perform better in school, and learn better social skills than children who are less inclined to play. By joining in a local Play Day, parents can demonstrate that they value play, healthy families and healthy communities.”

Why do kids need unstructured play? Current statistics are dismal when it comes to children and playtime:

  • A recent KaBOOM! study showed that 96 percent of parents agreed that playing outside was critical to their child’s health, but only 17 percent of these same parents thought their children played enough outdoors.
  • The CDC reports that for children aged 6 to 19 years, upwards of 17 percent are overweight.2

Since many child-advocacy and health organizations, including the American Heart Association, advocate that kids play for at least an hour every day, KaBOOM! and KOOL-AID will be asking parents who attend Play Days to sign a playful beach-ball petition supporting every child’s right for 60 minutes of time to play every day.  After getting their petitions signed, every community will play in their own special way:  

  • At a Virginia Beach U.S. Naval base, kids of those deployed overseas will get a day of care-free fun and games, courtesy of the base commander and a squad of volunteers.  
  • In Johannesburg, South Africa, they’re holding Olympic-style events with hurdles, high jump, sprints, shot put, javelin, sling throw, long jump, and long distance races.
  • In Evans, Colorado, they’ll attempt to break the world record for the most people participating in a human wheelbarrow race.
  • An Atlanta Play Day will feature a “Pros vs. Joes” flag football game, with local residents competing against retired Atlanta Falcons players.
  • In Riverside City California, they’re having a Mariachi festival and a donkey lassoing demonstration.
  • In the Kubwa Village of Nigeria, the Play Day organizer says that the 100,000 people who live there have nowhere to gather together to play.  He’s using his Play Day to raise money for a new community center.
  • With more than 1,000 Play Days planned across the country, parents can find a Play Day in their neighborhoods by visiting http://playday.kaboom.org/.For more information about KaBOOM!, visit www.kaboom.org.

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About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,600 new playgrounds, skate parks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including an online community, free online trainings, grants, publications and the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, which includes Playful City USA and Playmakers - a national network of individual advocates for play. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

About Kraft Foods
Kraft Foods (www.kraftfoodscompany.com) makes today delicious in 150 countries around the globe. Our 100,000 employees work tirelessly to make delicious foods consumers can feel good about. From American brand icons like Kraft cheeses, dinners and dressings, Maxwell House coffees and Oscar Mayer meats, to global powerhouse brands like Oreo and LU biscuits, Philadelphia cream cheeses, Jacobs and Carte Noire coffees, Tang powdered beverages and Milka, Cote d'Or, Lacta and Toblerone chocolates, our brands deliver millions of smiles every day. Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT) is the world's second largest food company with annual revenues of $42 billion. The company is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor's 500, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the Ethibel Sustainability Index.

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1  Roberts, D. F., Foehr, U., & Rideout, V. Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8 to 18 Year Olds. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2005.
2 Centers for Disease Control, National Health Assessment Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2006. http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/prevalence.html

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