Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, Oakland Unified School District, The CarMax Foundation and KABOOM! Announce to Hundreds of Kids That a New Playground is Coming to Oakland Link copied!

November 20, 2020

Oakland, CA

Kids at Franklin Elementary School in Oakland are celebrating today because they will soon have a great new place to play. Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), The CarMax Foundation and KABOOM!, are working together to increase access to playspaces with the creation of a new, kid-designed playful schoolyard. The playspace, that will be installed in early 2021, will give kids an incredible place to play close to where they live and learn, an opportunity that is often hard to achieve.

The playground project was announced today during Franklin Elementary’s virtual school-wide assembly. NBA and Golden State Warriors superstar and co-founder of Eat. Learn. Play Foundation, Stephen Curry, was the first to share with the kids and faculty of Franklin Elementary that they will be getting a new playground, multi-sport court and garden early next year, in anticipation of their return to school in 2021. The students were excited to hear the news of the playground and that it will be designed with inspiration from their ideas and imaginations. As with all KABOOM! playground and multi-sport court projects, kids will be engaged in the design of the playspace by being prompted to draw their dream playspaces. The new garden will align with and enhance Franklin’s existing food access and healthy eating programming.

“There is a powerful, positive connection with a child’s success and the recommended daily amount of physical activity,” said Stephen and Ayesha Curry, Co-Founders of Eat. Learn. Play. “This is what we have made Play one of the core pillars for our foundation. For children living in poverty, play is often too hard to come by as their families face many obstacles, ranging from a lack of safe places to play to under-resourced schools that cut recess and physical education. This is why we are so very excited to celebrate the dream playspace that will be coming to Franklin Elementary next year and we can get back to playing once again!”

Decades of research and the everyday experiences of kids and families show us that play is an essential part of childhood. Access to quality places to play is vital to kids’ emotional, social and physical health. Kids need it to thrive – especially during stressful times. Too many kids in America, though, have no safe place to play. The isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates in dramatic effect how valuable playspaces truly are, not only as community gathering places, but as essential civic infrastructure that make neighborhoods strong places where kids can thrive.

“This has been a challenging year for our students and teachers, but they have been resilient as they navigate a new way of learning and teaching virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lusa Lai, Principal of Franklin Elementary School. “We are looking forward to coming together again, and welcoming them back with a new playspace, multi-sport court and garden for all to enjoy.”

The playspace at Franklin Elementary School will be high quality and built with the desires of the community in mind because they were involved from the very beginning. This project shows what is possible when partners and communities come together to address the needs of kids, especially in times of crisis.

“The CarMax Foundation is proud to partner with Eat. Learn. Play Foundation, OUSD and KABOOM! to create this much-needed playspace for Oakland kids,” said Leslie Parpart, Director of Community Relations at CarMax. “We have a long-standing partnership with KABOOM! to bring innovative play opportunities to kids in communities where our associates live and work, a commitment we are incredibly passionate about. We look forward to breaking ground on this community project and seeing it come to life.”

KABOOM! teams up with communities nationwide to build incredible playspaces that give every kid the chance to thrive physically, socially and emotionally, and is committed to ending playspace inequity for kids, for communities, for good.

“We know disasters and crises often exacerbate the inequities that communities are already experiencing, and in many communities, kids won’t have a playground to go back to once the COVID-19 crisis is over,” says Lysa Ratliff, Acting CEO of KABOOM!. “We must stop the playspace inequities from becoming even deeper after we get through this pandemic, giving every kid the chance to play and just enjoy being a kid.”

To ensure that playgrounds are able to open safely in every community according the latest CDC guidelines, KABOOM! has issued important playground guidance that all communities, playground owner/operators and caregivers can follow. The guidance can be viewed or downloaded at