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-Press Release courtesy The Salvation Army
Kids at The Salvation Army of Henderson are celebrating today because they have a great new place to play. For months, representatives from The Salvation Army of Henderson, Belk and KABOOM!, the nonprofit organization focused on ending playspace inequity, have been working together to increase access to playspaces for local kids with the creation of a new, kid designed playground that was installed on July 21, 2020.
The playground will give kids an incredible place to play close to where they live and learn, an opportunity that is often hard to achieve.
Since COVID-19 began, children have had to adjust to a new normal, which means a lot of time spent in front of a screen doing virtual learning, and less time getting outdoors to play and be active. The children at our Red Shield Club have really enjoyed being able to take a break from the inside and breathe in the fresh air while having fun on the playground. The playground has provided a way for the children to still have “recess” and practice social skills in a safe way.
“I can see that the playground at The Salvation Army Red Shield Club is very important because it has increased my child’s social, brain and language development. The playground provides an opportunity for my children to practice their social skills, to come up with solutions to problems and to learn self-control in working out their conflicts,” says Shadiya Solomon, parent of a child that attends the Red Shield Club.
In May, kids from the community participated in a virtual Design Day where they creatively thought of ideas to create their dream playground. The new playground, which was designed with inspiration from their drawings, will provide hundreds of kids and their families in Henderson with an incredible playspace that can spark hope and enable kids to reach their full potential.
KABOOM! knows that playspaces are essential to resilience, health and childhood. The communities that have been hit the hardest by COVID-19 – communities facing challenges already, and communities of color – are the same communities who often lack access to parks and playspaces due to historic disinvestment.
The partners have teamed up to help end playspace inequity, creating a new place for kids to play that reflects the neighborhood’s unique needs and aspirations and gives every kid the opportunity to experience the joys of childhood.
“We know disasters and crises often exacerbate the inequities that communities are already experiencing, and in many communities, kids won’t have a playground to go back to once the COVID-19 crisis is over,” says James Siegal, CEO of KABOOM!. “We must stop the playspace inequities from becoming even deeper after we get through this pandemic, giving every kid the chance to play and just enjoy being a kid.”
Through its partnership with Belk, KABOOM! is committed to ending playspace inequity for kids, for communities, for good.
To ensure that playgrounds are able to open safely in every community, KABOOM! has issued important playground guidance that all communities, playground owners/operators and caregivers can follow. The guidance can be viewed or downloaded at kaboom.org/reopen.