Systemic racism and disinvestment can mean that communities of color experience greater impact from and receive less resources to cope and rebuild after disasters and crises, such as we’ve seen with the COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing playspace inequity means ensuring that every child has access to the same resiliency-building benefits of play to cope with stressful situations.
Children are exceptionally vulnerable to stress during and after a disaster, and experiencing prolonged levels of stress, without support, can lead to impaired healthy development, including mental and physical health consequences.
However, positive influences can “stack the scale” to optimize resiliency in kids. Childhood play can build supportive relationships, strengthen life skills, and mitigate the impact of prolonged exposure to stress. With support from our partners, we’ve rebuilt — or created — much-needed playspaces in the wake of natural disasters, crises, and now a pandemic.
In 2020, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, KABOOM! was able to build or improve 150+ playspaces alongside communities; deliver thousands of playground design kits to keep kids active and engaged at home; and release national Playground Re-opening Guidelines developed by a team of public health experts.
Together, we can build playspaces that nurture every child’s ability to bounce back from a crisis, build resiliency, and thrive.
To help rebuild — or create — places for hundreds of thousands of kids to play in the wake of disasters and crises, KABOOM!, our partners, and volunteers create playspaces and deploy creative play products, such as Imagination Playground™ and Rigamajig®.
We have worked alongside the Rebuild Texas Fund to build playspaces in communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey, partnered with residents in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood to build a new playground for some of the city’s most vulnerable kids, and created places to play for over 290,000 kids in the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.
With partnerships like these, we’ve seen first-hand how creating and re-building playspaces through a process that puts communities in a position of power is an impactful way to build hope and boost momentum for other recovery efforts.
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End Playspace Inequity