KaBOOM! and Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Kick-off the Play Everywhere Challenge to Build More Equitable, Kid-Friendly Communities Link copied!

March 5, 2018

Washington D.C.

Today, KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play, kicked off the Play Everywhere Challenge, supported by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation through its Built to Play initiative. The Challenge will award grant winners a total of $720,000 across Western New York and Southeast Michigan to create lasting, scalable design installations that will provide more opportunities to play for the kids who need it most.

The well-being of communities starts with the well-being of kids, and play is critical to their physical, cognitive, creative, social and emotional development. It’s how kids learn how to problem-solve, think creatively and build relationships, all important life skills in adulthood. But while it is an essential factor in development, far too many kids are missing out on the chance to play. Many families struggle to find the time to incorporate play into their daily routines, and adequate, convenient playspaces can be hard to come by in many communities. The projects implemented through the Play Everywhere Challenge will help make play the easy choice for families and support kids in getting the physical activity they need to thrive.

“Great places to play are a necessity for all kids to grow up happy, healthy and resilient,” said James Siegal, CEO of KaBOOM!. “We want to ensure that the kids who are often overlooked have the opportunity to reach their full potential. We are grateful to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation for serving as a leader in supporting innovative projects that will help ALL kids get the childhood they deserve filled with play.”

The Play Everywhere Challenge, supported by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a call for innovative design ideas that make it easier for families to incorporate play into their everyday routines. Potential grantees have the opportunity to reimagine where and how play can happen in communities, from sidewalks and vacant lots to bus stops, open streets and beyond.

“As part of the Built to Play initiative, we are thrilled to work with KaBOOM! to create more opportunities for kid-driven free play,” said Jim Boyle, Vice President of Programs & Communication, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “We are excited to see the creative, innovative ideas that are shared across Western New York and Southeast Michigan to support the kids with the greatest need.”

The Play Everywhere Challenge is part of a broader effort led by the Built to Play initiative intended to give kids in Western New York and Southeast Michigan more opportunities for free play. Through the Play Everywhere Challenge and the creation of unique playgrounds this year, the Built to Play initiative will create more than 20 new playspaces for kids that reach thousands of kids in Western New York and Southeast Michigan.

Applications will be accepted from March 5 through May 11, 2018. Applicants can be government entities, non-profits or individuals/groups who have partnered with them. We invite applicants from the following regions to participate: Southeast Michigan – Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Livingston, Monroe and St. Clair counties; and Western New York – Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, Monroe and Wyoming counties. Learn more about the Play Everywhere Challenge, including a gallery of winning ideas from cities across the U.S.