NCLC announces 2012 Lewis Hine Awards for Service to Children and Youth honors Darell Hammond of Washington, D.C., Founder & Chief Executive of Play, KaBOOM!, with the Distinguished Service Award Link copied!

January 17, 2012

New York, NY

The National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) today announced the recipients of the 26th annual LEWIS HINE AWARDS FOR SERVICE TO CHILDREN AND YOUTH, including the Distinguished Service Award. Darell Hammond, Washington, D.C., Co-Founder & Chief Executive of Play, KaBOOM!, will receive the Distinguished Service Award.

The Awards will be presented at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on the evening of Monday, January 30th. (Photo Op/Media Interviews/Reception 6:00–6:45 p.m., Award Ceremony 6:45–8:00 p.m.)

Named for the acclaimed NCLC photographer who documented early-20th century exploitation of children, the LEWIS HINE AWARDS honor those individuals who, either as professionals or volunteers, give of themselves and go the extra mile for the well-being of young people. The recipients, who this year hail from as far away as Wyoming and as close as New York are selected by a distinguished panel of judges from among hundreds of nominations submitted each year by business, community, and non-profit leaders.

This year’s program will be chaired by Maria R. Morris, Executive Vice President of MetLife, Inc.:
“We congratulate this year’s honorees for their truly extraordinary accomplishments and appreciate their exceptional service on behalf of our nation’s children and youth,” said Ms. Morris. “MetLife and MetLife Foundation have a longstanding commitment to improving the health and well-being of young people and preparing them for the future. We are proud to join NCLC in recognizing this year’s Lewis Hine Awards honorees for their dedication and hard work toward making the welfare of all children a priority.”

The NCLC announced that a select group of public figures will be honored with special awards, including

The Distinguished Service Award is presented to business leaders and individuals in the public eye who have had a positive impact on the welfare of children and youth. The honorees join the ranks of past recipients—leaders from the worlds of media, art and entertainment, and public service.

Darell Hammond, Washington, D.C., Founder & Chief Executive of Play, KaBOOM!, will be honored with the Distinguished Service Award for working with communities and corporations to create safe and accessible playgrounds across America. 

After reading a newspaper article about two young children in Southeast Washington, D.C. who suffocated to death while playing inside an abandoned car because they didn’t have a safe place to play, Mr. Hammond did some research and realized it represented a much larger problem: the lack of safe, creative, and healthy outdoor places to play for far too many children. Using his community organizing background, he helped build a playground to honor the children and help the community heal. Shortly thereafter KaBOOM! was born and has been helping communities build playgrounds ever since.

In the 15 years since that first playground was built, Mr. Hammond has raised $200 million, rallied a million volunteers, and led the hands-on construction of more than 2,000 playgrounds across North America, serving over 5.5 million children, and inspiring a movement for the child’s right to play. He has written numerous newspaper and magazine articles on the subject of children’s rights, school recess, bullying, childhood obesity, and standardized testing.

Under Hammond’s leadership KaBOOM! has mapped more than 89,000 places to play and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. The KaBOOM! website provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Last year, KaBOOM! introduced its mobile app, Playgrounds!, for finding, sharing, and rating playgrounds with others across the country.

In 2011 Mr. Hammond was named a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year and recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the world’s Top 30 Social Entrepreneurs. His book, KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play, was released in April 2011 and hit #4 on the New York Times Bestseller list.

Also receiving the Distinguished Service Award this year is Marley Kaplan of New York, New York CEO, Chess in the Schools, Inc.  She will be honored with the Distinguished Service Award for transforming the lives of thousands of public school students by promoting and expanding a chess education program in the New York City school system.  

Past recipients of the Distinguished Service Award include: Andre Agassi, President and Founder, Andre Agassi Foundation for Education; Paul Allaire; Frank Bennack Jr.; Geoffrey Boisi; Michael Bolton; Raymond Chambers; Hillary Rodham Clinton; Joan Ganz Cooney; Tipper Gore; David T. Kearns; Ann M. Marchetti; John McIvor; J. Richard Munro; Susan Saint James; Charles Schultz; Stephen H. Spahn, Chancellor and Headmaster of The Dwight School in New York City; William Steere; Laurie M. Tisch;  Janice Weinman; and Elaine Wynn, National Chairperson for Communities in Schools and Director of Wynn Resorts, Limited.

The Ronald H. Brown Award, which honors American leaders, like the late Mr. Brown, who have overcome prejudice and discrimination and uses his or her public platform to help today’s young people do the same, will be presented to David R. Jones, Esq., New York, New York, President & CEO, Community Service Society of New York (CSS).

Past recipients of the Ronald H. Brown Award include: Karen Bass, former Speaker of the California State Assembly Harry Belafonte; Edward Lewis, Founder and Chairman of Essence; David A. Paterson and Michelle Paige Patterson, former Governor and First Lady of New York; Deval L. Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts and former Executive Vice President, The Coca-Cola Company; Diane Patrick, Partner, Law Firm Ropes & Gray and First Lady of Massachusetts; Hugh B. Price, President and CEO, National Urban League; Lisa Quiroz, Senior Vice President of Time Warner; Jorge Ramos of Univision Television Network, Dennis Walcott, NYC Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development; Oprah Winfrey, and Raul Yzaguirre, President, National Council of La Raza.

The David T. Kearns Award for Excellence and Innovation in Education will be presented to J. Clifford Hudson of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Chairman of the Board & CEO, Sonic Corp. In 2011, Vincent Mai, Chairman of AEA Investors, Inc. and Chairman of the Board of Sesame Workshop, was recipient of the first David T. Kearns Award.

The NCLC announced that the first recipient of  The Nancy Daly Advocacy Award—memorializing the late Los Angeles, California, activist and philanthropist Nancy Daly whose continuous efforts over many years provided support and opportunity for thousands of young people—will be Father Gregory Boyle of  Los Angeles, California, Executive Director, Homeboy Industries.   

Since its inception, thousands of deserving individuals have been nominated for LEWIS HINE AWARDS and over 250 have been selected as honorees. Previous recipients have gained national and local recognition and have earned increased support, allowing them to make an even greater difference in their communities. Each of this year’s LEWIS HINE AWARDS Honorees will receive a $1,000 award.

For more information about the National Child Labor Committee and the LEWIS HINE AWARDS, visit

For more information about MetLife and the MetLife Foundation, visit and

To learn more about this year’s awards or to speak with any of the Honorees,
the LEWIS HINE AWARDS’  Chair, or the NCLC Committee’s Chairman and the Executive Director, contact Joyce Appelman, at 516-482-1016 or [email protected].