White House Volunteers, KaBOOM! and Knight Foundation Build Playground in D.C.

More than 500 volunteers from the White House, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and KaBOOM! National Partners will join non-profit KaBOOM! and USA Weekend to build a playground in just six hours along with the parents, staff and students of Hyde Leadership Public Charter School.  Hyde is a character charter school that serves Pre-K through 12th grade students.

The majority of the funding for this playground has been provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of a national effort to engage residents in getting involved in their communities.  The build will be held on Make A Difference Day, a national day of service involving more than 3 million people nationwide. 

When:                    Saturday, October 23, 2010
                               8:30 AM Kick-off

Where:                   Hyde Leadership Public Charter School
                               1800 Perry Street, NE
                               Washington, D.C. 20018

Joining in the fun and service will be:

  • Presidential cabinet members
  • Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service -- The federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its programs, Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. 
  • Current and former members of the White House Fellows -- The White House Fellows program is one of America's most prestigious programs for leadership and public service.
  • Playworks -- Playworks is a national nonprofit organization that provides safe, healthy, inclusive play and physical activity to schools at recess and throughout the entire school day.
  • Representatives from KaBOOM! National Partners – Dr Pepper Snapple Group, MetLife Foundation, and Kraft Foods Foundation.

The new playground will be fully assembled and installed in six hours. Volunteers will gather for a kickoff ceremony at 8:30 a.m. on the vacant lot behind Hyde Leadership Public Charter School’s (Hyde-DC) new building and will complete the playground project in time for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2:30 p.m.

Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in August at Hyde-DC when students, parents and local community leaders met with organizers from KaBOOM! and Knight Foundation to design their dream playground. The students’ drawings were then used to create the final playground design.  (Photos and video from the Design Day are available upon request.)

This will be the 1,894th build KaBOOM! has led over the past 14 years, and is one of 13 to be built by KaBOOM! and Knight Foundation this year.

In addition to the community-built playground, the new play area will also include an Imagination Playground in a Box – a breakthrough play space 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.

For more information on build partners, please see the Partner page.

Contacts:
Alison Risso                       Marc Fest
KaBOOM!                           Knight Foundation
202.464.6186                     305-908-2677
arisso@kaboom.org           fest@knightfoundation.org

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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.