March 19, 2010

Why Jude Family Childcare Center needs a playground

jude family childcare center in detroit, michiganJude Family Childcare Center’s submission to our Promote Your Project Video Contest definitely wins the “most adorable” prize! In it, children dressed in oversized suits and ties conduct a serious board meeting about building a playground, while their parents sit in a designated area and “play” on their BlackBerrys and iPhones.

The video guarantees a giggle, but the community’s need for a playground is no laughing matter. Help out Jude Family Childcare Center by voting on their project! Here’s what the project leaders have to say:

About the neighborhood:
Our Church and Childcare Center is located in an at-risk, low-income neighborhood on the lower east side of Detroit. According to the 2000 census, there were 3,300 children, in our zip code alone, between the ages of zero and five. With new housing in the area, this number has only increased.

Who’s behind the playground project:
Jude Family Childcare Center, founded in August 2006, strives to make a difference in children’s lives, one child at a time. We feel that all children deserve a high-quality educational foundation, and believe that play is an important part of that foundation. For the last two years, we have tried to revive Lodge Playfield (pictured), one block from our center. It had a concrete surface and was in a serious state of disrepair, but for lack of a better place to play, we started to maintain it by keeping it clean and cutting the grass. We tried to communicate with the city for services and equipment, but in August 2009, city officials informed us that they were closing the park.

Why we decided to build a playground:

We remembered going to the neighborhood playground as children and staying all day, returning home only for lunch and dinner. But we were saddened to see children in our summer program bringing electronic games and not interacting with other kids. We had to ban these games from the program, and instead brainstormed outside games from back in the day—like kickball, sack races, and balloon tosses—to introduce to the children. A new playground will not only help us to encourage more outdoor play, but will also add to the revitalization of the surrounding community.

Help Jude Family Childcare Center get $5,000 toward playground equipment! Watch their video entry and cast your vote.

jude family childcare center, detroit, michigan, promote your project video contest