KaBOOM! News • page 105

By Sherianne Cotterell
Ventura County (Calif.) Star
Aug. 20, 2008

On Aug. 2, a beautiful new playground was built on barren land in the Nyeland Acres area of Oxnard.

It was a magical coming together of volunteers from the Amgen Foundation, KaBOOM!, Rio School District, the neighborhood, California Conservation Corps, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme and the Navy Seabees — all for the sake of our community's children.

There was a generosity of resources made possible by Amgen, Rio School District, RC Ground Cover, Boething Treeland Farms, Chik-fil-A and Mimi's Cafe, but, more importantly, there was a generosity of heart and spirit from the more than 200 people of diverse backgrounds who participated that day.

The creation of this annex playground implements the school district and board of trustees' Unity of Purpose goals and strategies adopted for the 2008-09 school year. [More]

Well, there's only two weeks left before my first playground build in Bossier City on September 4th. I just realized that the first game of the NFL season will be that night (the Washington Redskins travel to New York to face the defending Super Bowl Champion Giants)! Watching the game that night will be a nice way to unwind after building all day in that Louisiana heat! Football is my second favorite sport besides basketball and I'm excited that the season is about to start.

It will be time for my season to start soon as well. I can't believe how fast the summer has gone by - I think building playgrounds makes it go by even faster! We will begin training camp on September 25th. Since I'm doing my second playground build in Washington DC on the 20th, I'll only have a few days to relax before camp starts, but it's definitely worth it. This year, we're traveling to Richmond, Va. for camp again, but will head to Europe on October 10th to play a few preseason games there and won't return until the 17th. While I'm over there, I might even get a chance to see what European playgrounds look like! After that, it will be time for the grind of the regular season to start!


Aug. 19, 2008

There are moments in our lives when we are struck with an idea that will impact our community in a dynamic way - with no advance notice or warning. This is what happened to Darell Hammond. In August 1995, shortly after moving to Washington, D.C., 24-year-old Darell Hammond read a story in the Washington Post about two local children who suffocated while playing in an abandoned car because they didn't have anywhere else to play. Darell, who had previously helped build several playgrounds for other organizations, realized this tragedy could have been prevented. The passion was born, the idea was conceived. [More]

August 18, 2008 KaBOOM!

Loose Parts Playgrounds

Morgan Clendaniel
GOOD Magazine

Lower Manhattan, already a playground for New York's wealthy, is fast becoming the epicenter of playground innovation. In addition to the Teardrop Park, the tip of the island will soon be home to the Imagination Playground, a new play space designed, pro bono, by David Rockwell, the architect behind über-casino Mohegan Sun and the sets for the Broadway run of Hairspray. He conceived of the idea as a way to give back to the area after 9/11.

Being bowled over by his children's ability to find endless enjoyment in a cardboard box, Rockwell began to realize that he could design a playground that emphasized the imaginative power of young children, instead of just doing a slick architect's take on the kind of formulaic playgrounds so prevalent in the rest of the country. [More]

Learn more about KaBOOM! and Imagination Playground.

Well, I'm back from Brazil and trying to get back in the swing of things. It was my first time visiting there and it was incredible! The culture and overall way of life there is so different than here in the U.S. I had a great time, but am glad to be home. There's no place like home!

Other than working out and getting into game shape, I'm focusing on my two upcoming playground builds. My Shreveport build is approaching rather quickly and I'm working to finalize which family members I'm recruiting to help out! I just found out that the Washington Wizards are sending some people from their community relations department to volunteer and help build! I really appreciate their support, as well as the NBA's.

The Wizards are working on sending out volunteers to help with the KOOL-AID build in Washington D.C. on Sept. 20. I know that they're trying to get some of the dance team members to show up too and I'm working on recruiting some of my teammates to come out and get dirty as well.

Talk to you soon!


Former Run-DMC front-man to lead playground crusade
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Aug. 14, 2008

Joseph Simmons, the ground-breaking rapper whose revival of the song "Walk this Way" gave it a second life on the hit charts, is preaching the same message in a new form.

He is telling people walk this way, a good way, a better way.

Simmons, better known as the lead personality Rev. Run on MTV's reality show "Run's House," and better known to the parents of MTV's target audience as one of the founding members of 1980s rap group Run-D.M.C., will be in Atlanta Aug. 21 to help the nonprofit KaBoom kick off a project to build four Atlanta playgrounds in three days. [More]

August 15, 2008 KaBOOM!

Playmaker's dream becomes a reality

New playground 'excites' kids, parents
More equipment is planned later

By Rick Rojas
Louisville Courier-Journal
Aug. 13, 2008

Byck Elementary School has playground equipment for the first time in its history, and it's already drawing children's interest in school.

Darlene King said her daughter Kelaiah, a kindergartner, told her she could not wait to come to school for the PTA's dedication of the playground on Aug. 5.

"It's a safe and fun place for our children," King said. "It says a lot about this community and the importance that they place on their children."

The equipment, which cost $15,000 and was installed over the summer, includes two tire swings, a standing seesaw, a climber and a four-swing set.

PTA president Myrdin Thompson it's only the first phase of a project to build what will be a $65,000 playground at the school, 2328 Cedar St. The next phases will include some more expensive equipment and a small play set for preschoolers, she said. [More]

August 13, 2008 KaBOOM!

Association Meetings: Here to Help

Meetings Industry Megasite
August 13, 2007

In 2000, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) held its annual meeting in Orlando and decided, for the first time, to organize a volunteer event through which its members could give something back to the community that was hosting them. To that end, the Rosemont, IL-based association teamed up with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington D.C., whose mission "envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America." With the help of KaBOOM!, the AAOS was able to identify a disadvantaged neighborhood in the Orlando area that needed a playground and organize a day during the annual meeting when AAOS members could go out into the community and build one. [More]

Q&A July/August - Using Imagination
Kaboom CEO Discusses Playground Concept
By Matthew Crawford

The first Imagination Playground™ in a Box, a new play space designed by New York architect David Rockwell, was introduced in July at the Brownsville recreation center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The portable play area — an offshoot of the permanent Imagination Playground™ concept that is scheduled to break ground later this month — was installed in partnership with Kaboom, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting play space.

The design includes a variety of loose pieces to promote flexibility and allow children to use their imagination to design the play area. Children can transform the playground to suit their needs, as was the case at the introduction ceremony when a water feature incorporated into the play area was manipulated with a series of connected tubes.

Darell Hammond, chief executive officer at Kaboom, spoke with School Construction News during a phone interview. [More]

Accompanying article: Spotlight July/August 2008 - N.Y. Architect, Kaboom Introduce New Playground Concept

LEWISBURG, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Playworld Systems, Inc., a leading international manufacturer of playgrounds and playground equipment, has announced that it will become the first major playground manufacturer to abandon the use of polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC) in its products. PVC, commonly knows as "vinyl" has been a significant component in playground equipment for decades. However, recent private and public studies have indicated it is environmentally unsound and a potential health risk.

"We have a responsibility to the environment and the children who use our playgrounds to do everything in our power to use the most environmentally friendly substances" said Matt Miller, president of Playworld Systems. "We are proud to be the first major playground manufacturer to do something about the actual problem of PVC and not just 'offset' its effects by other means." [More]