Before the sun set last Thursday, children in the Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles had a great new place to play. The new playground was fully assembled in less than eight hours at the Para Los Ni??os Early Education Center with the help of more than 200 community volunteers, Disney VoluntEARS, KaBOOM! organizers, and local community residents.
The playground will provide more than 150 children in Pico-Union with a safe place to play. Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in March. Local children and community leaders met with organizers from Disney and KaBOOM! to design their dream playground. The children's drawings were then used to create the final playground design.
"The organizers developed the opportunity, but it was the students and their families that truly drove the entire playground process ÔÇô from the design elements to the actual build," said Martine Singer, Executive Director of Para Los Ni??os. "This playground serves as proof that involving families will not only benefit individual students, but an entire community."
"Every child deserves to have a great place to play and we're thrilled to continue our work with Disney in striving toward that goal," said Darell Hammond, KaBOOM! founder & CEO. "Thanks to the efforts from Disney, KaBOOM! and Para Los Ni??os, we moved one step closer to the KaBOOM! vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America."
Since 1996, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together community interests and business to construct more than 2,200 new places to play across North America. The new playground is one of dozens made possible with support from Disney to inspire kids to lead healthier lifestyles. By the end of 2013, Disney's support will bring the magic of play to over 50,000 kids and families.
"Only 1-in-5 children live within walking distance of a park or playground," said Leslie Goodman, senior vice president, Corporate Citizenship at The Walt Disney Company. "Disney is proud to join KaBOOM! and Para Los Ni??os to build a new playground for the community. Together, we hope to make places to play more accessible, and inspire kids and families to stay active."