Dr Pepper Snapple, City of Los Angeles and KaBOOM! Launch Let’s Play Everywhere LA to Encourage More Play Opportunities for All Kids Link copied!

June 1, 2017

Los Angeles, CA

This week, Let’s Play (an initiative by Dr Pepper Snapple), KaBOOM! and the City of Los Angeles’ Mayor’s Office launched Let’s Play Everywhere LA, a city-wide competition that will award grantees up to $200,000 to fund creative ideas that transform everyday spaces into places that make play easy and accessible to kids and families in Los Angeles.

Play is critical to the physical, cognitive, creative, social and emotional development of all kids, yet far too many are missing out on the chance to play, especially kids living in underserved communities. There are significant barriers to play, beginning with a lack of playspaces at home, at school and in communities. In Los Angeles, there are more than 16,000 acres of parkland, but these open spaces are not easily accessible to everyone. In some communities, as little as 28% of the population lives within a 10-minute walk of a public park; in other dense neighborhoods, the amount of open space available can be as low as 0.3-acres per 1,000 residents. That is why it is so important to provide more opportunities for kids to play and be active.

Mayor Eric Garcetti is strongly committed to broadening access to open space and healthy outdoor recreation. His administration has emphasized long-term park planning and delivered innovative pilot programs to reduce physical barriers to play, such as Let’s Play Everywhere LA and Play Streets.

“Everyone should have safe places to play and enjoy outdoor activity — and we’re working hard to bring those opportunities to every community in Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Let’s Play Everywhere LA will tap into the boundless creativity in our city, and engage more Angelenos in a cause that will help our residents be healthier, get more active and experience a better quality of life in their neighborhoods.”

Let’s Play Everywhere LA is the first city-wide initiative that will award out-of-the-box solutions to make play a way of life in everyday and unexpected places – on sidewalks, in vacant lots, at bus stops, in open streets and beyond – especially in communities where families struggle to make ends meet. The partners are asking for applicants to submit ideas that will encourage play where there is the greatest need across the city.

“With Let’s Play Everywhere LA, we’re thrilled to be able to make everyday spaces more playable and help kids and families integrate active play into their daily lives,” said Vicki Draughn, Dr Pepper Snapple vice president – corporate affairs.

The well-being of communities starts with the well-being of kids – and play is critical to their ability to thrive. When kids play, they are more likely to grow up healthy, resilient and ready for life. It’s how kids learn how to problem-solve, resolve conflicts and build relationships, all necessary developmental skills they need to succeed as adults.

“As a dad, I know kids will find ways to play wherever they go—if they are given the chance,” said James Siegal, CEO of KaBOOM!. “But today, too many kids, especially those growing up in poverty, are missing out on play because of families’ time pressures, the lure of screens, and a lack of safe places to go. We are grateful for the commitment of our partner Dr Pepper Snapple to make it possible for kids to have more opportunities to play – no matter where they live, where they come from or how much their families earn. We are also excited to support the efforts of Mayor Garcetti and the City of Los Angeles to make it as easy as possible for LA kids and families to lead active and healthy lives.”

Applications will be accepted from June 1 – July 21, and applicants can be government entities, non-profits or individuals/groups who have partnered with them. To learn more, including how to apply for a Let’s Play Everywhere LA grant, please visit kaboom.org/la.