StoriesStephen and Ayesha Curry Join Volunteers to Build Amazing New Playground

Franklin Elementary School students celebrate their new playful schoolyard with KABOOM! and our partners Eat. Learn. Play., The CarMax Foundation, and Oakland Unified School District

By KABOOM! | June 17, 2021

A brand-new playground complete with boogie boards and track rides. A top-of-the-line sports court and a beautiful community garden. A hand-painted mural reminding students of the importance of their own voices.

These are just a few of the unique features that students and community members brought to life in Franklin Elementary School’s new schoolyard, which will spark play and joy for more than 1,000 kids each year.

On June 12, KABOOM! joined Franklin Elementary students, teachers, and staff, along with community and project partner volunteers from Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, The CarMax Foundation, and Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) to put the final touches on the schoolyard transformation after a week of volunteer construction. The event was the culmination of months of hard work and planning by dedicated school leaders, including Oakland-based FarmScape, which designed the students’ new sensory garden, and DJ Agana, a local artist who designed and created the school’s incredible new mural.

Promoting Playspace Equity in Oakland

Play is a developmental necessity that sparks social, emotional, and physical development, and kids must have a safe place to play in order to thrive. But access to play is too often dictated by race, zip code, or socioeconomic status. KABOOM! works to amplify the power of communities to end playspace inequity. Our partnership with Eat. Learn. Play., CarMax, and OUSD at Franklin Elementary shows that when we work together, we can ensure that every kid, everywhere, has a place to play, thrive, and learn.

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Before Photos of Franklin Elementary’s PlayspaceClick or tap a picture below to see it larger. Photos from 2019.

“I’m the most excited for playing, finding new friends, and the basketball hoops!” Adam A., student at Franklin Elementary

Volunteers at WorkClick or tap a picture below to see it larger

The Curry Family VolunteersClick or tap a picture below to see it larger

Photo #1, #4, and #16 provided by Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Eat. Learn. Play.’s “Franklin Elementary School Playground, Court, and Garden Project.”

“What’s so special here is that they have everything they need to thrive: a playground where they can learn to share, negotiate, and take risks; a sensory garden where they can learn about the healthy things that go in their body … and this amazing basketball court where they can practice teamwork, sharpen their skills, and have some fun together.”

Lysa Ratliff, CEO, KABOOM!

Franklin Elementary’s Playspace: AfterClick or tap a picture below to see it larger

Photo #6 provided by Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation’s “Franklin Elementary School Playground, Court, and Garden Project.”

Video footage courtesy of Kyle Henry / Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation.

“They can see themselves in this space. They can feel inspired and they can believe themselves. And the community has spoken really loudly that we believe in them.”Lusa Lai, Principal, Franklin Elementary School Tweet this!

Close-up on the MuralClick or tap a picture below to see it larger

Local artist, DJ Agana, designed and created the school’s amazing new mural.

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