National nonprofit KaBOOM! is dedicated to saving play. Few people realize that play is in peril. Play is quickly disappearing from children's lives, and it's taking a toll on the health and happiness of children, families and communities. So, to help take this critical issue head on, KaBOOM! is calling on its corporate and individual friends to support its new campaign to 'Save Play' by taking action to provide one-million children access to playgrounds this year. At saveplay.org, visitors can learn more about the importance of play and the companies that are leading the way to address this critical children's issue. In addition to receiving corporate funding, the Save Play campaign calls on individuals to donate their time and money to address the issue nationally.
Today, children spend less time playing outdoors than any other generation, instead spending an average of 7.5 hours a day in front of a screen. Lack of play is directly linked to increased childhood obesity—one of the main issues facing the younger generation today. The White House Childhood Obesity Task Force recently issued a report with recommendations on how to 'solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation.' Physical activity and play were cited as key elements. Lack of play is also linked to a decrease in creativity, imagination, problem-solving skills, resiliency and an increase in classroom behavior problems.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, four out of five kids don't have a park or playground within half a mile of their home. To address this play deficit, for almost 15 years, KaBOOM! has been working with communities to build playgrounds in low-income areas. Although KaBOOM! has built 1,800 playgrounds across the country, there are still millions of children who don’t have a place to play every day.
The 'Save Play' campaign will address this challenge head on by funding initiatives that:
- Help individuals construct playgrounds
- Encourage school districts to open school playgrounds when school is out
- Push for additional support for local Parks and Recreation Departments
- Work with local officials and community leaders to help children get the play they need to grow up healthy
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) was the first corporate supporter of the Save Play program. The partnership addressed one of the top concerns for young mothers - the need for healthy playspaces that allow children to exercise their imaginations. UL ran a national contest that gave away four of our Imagination Playground in a Box systems to schools and parks in New York, Maryland and California. In addition, UL promoted KaBOOM! on the National Mall during the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day celebration. The Save Play campaign then picked up momentum as long-time partner KOOL-AID expanded its support for KaBOOM! with an investment of more than $300,000 for the Save Play program and KaBOOM!-led playground builds. Going forward, to encourage consumers to support Save Play, Kool-Aid has also pledged to match individual donations dollar for dollar up to $100,000 and has created an online video (www.facebook.com/koolaid) to help spread the word about the 'Save Play' campaign.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization dedicated to saving play. Through community building, the company is focused on giving every child in America a great place to play within walking distance. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,800 new playgrounds, skate parks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also leads the 'Save Play' campaign at saveplay.org, which funds a variety of resources, including an online community, free online trainings, grants, publications and the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, which includes Playful City USA and Playmakers – a national network of individual advocates for play. KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.