The new playground will be fully assembled from scratch in less than eight hours with the help of more than 200 volunteers from Miami-Dade County Public Schools, who will join the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, organizers from KaBOOM! and residents of the local community. Volunteers will gather for a kickoff ceremony at 8:30 a.m. and will complete the playground project in time for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:30 p.m.
“KaBOOM! playground builds inspire residents to put their passion for their community into action, furthering Knight Foundation’s focus on informed and engaged communities,” said Damian Thorman, national program director for Knight Foundation. “We hope the interest sparked on this playground drives residents to become engaged in future efforts to better their community.”
Currently, the children only have 20-year old equipment to play on, which will be removed to make way for the new playground. Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in June when local children and community leaders met with organizers from KaBOOM! and Knight Foundation to design their dream playground. The children's drawings were then used to create the final playground design.
The playground is one of 13 to be built by KaBOOM! and Knight Foundation this year, and one of more than 150 builds KaBOOM! will lead across the country in 2010 in an effort to provide a great place to play within walking distance of every child in
In addition to the community-built playground, the new play area will also include an Imagination Playground in a Box – a breakthrough playspace concept designed by architect David Rockwell to encourage child-directed, unstructured free play. Complete with custom designed blue foam blocks and other loose parts, and elements that encourage sand and water play, Imagination Playground in a Box allows children to constantly reconfigure their environment and design their own course of play.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.
About Imagination Playground LLC
Imagination Playground is a breakthrough playspace concept designed to encourage child-directed, unstructured “free play,” the kind of play that experts say is critical to a child’s intellectual, social, physical and emotional development. With a focus on loose parts, complimented by a manipulable environment and Play Associates, it offers a changing array of elements that allow children to constantly reconfigure their environment and to design their own course of play. Giant foam blocks, mats, wagons, fabric and crates overflow with creative potential for children to play, dream, build and explore endless possibilities. Imagination Playground was conceived and designed by internationally acclaimed architect David Rockwell. His firm, Rockwell Group, has partnered with KaBOOM!, the leading national non-profit organization dedicated to bringing play to kids everywhere. Through this mission-driven partnership, we are committed to bringing Imagination Playground to communities across the country. For more information, visit www.imaginationplayground.org.
CONTACT: John Schuster, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, 305-995-1126
Mike Vietti, KaBOOM!, 202-464-6076,
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.