FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Cassandra Lafser 407.246.2182
Mike Vietti, KaBOOM!, firstname.lastname@example.org, 785.320.2137 or 202.327.0086
Making Play a Priority: Non-Profit
Organization KaBOOM! Names Orlando one of 151 "Playful City USA"
- Communities Fighting Play Deficit by Implementing Policies to
Increase Play Opportunities for Children -
For the fourth year in a row, the City of Orlando has been
designated a Playful City USA community for its efforts to increase play
opportunities for children. In a time when only 1-in-5 children in the
U.S. currently live within walking distance of a park or playground, the
City of Orlando is one of 151 cities and towns across the nation that
have taken innovative approaches to make play a priority for the health
and well-being of their kids.
KaBOOM! selected Orlando for its dedication to play and cited its
partnership approach as another reason why it was chosen. Orlando has 14
joint-use agreements with the Orange County Public Schools to use and
maintain playgrounds and other playspaces. This allows the City to open
up school playgrounds for public use during after-school hours..
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, play is important
to healthy brain development and allows children to use their creativity
while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive
and emotional strength. Today’s children spend less time playing outside
than any previous generations in part because only 20-percent live
within walking distance of a park or playground. This Play Deficit is
having profound consequences for kids physically as well as mentally and
socially because children need a place to play every day in order to be
active and healthy.
A key platform in combating the Play Deficit is Playful City USA, a
national program advocating for local policies that increase play
opportunities for children. KaBOOM!, the national non-profit
organization dedicated to saving play, created Playful City USA in 2007
to help local governments address the Play Deficit by ensuring their
children have the time and space they need to play.
City of Orlando
City of Orlando’s Families, Parks and Recreation Department
Playful City USA
For more information on the KaBOOM! Playful City USA program, visit
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Children
today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a
fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement
levels, and overall well-being. To fight this Play Deficit, social
entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! 15 years ago in
Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within
walking distance of every child in America. Since then, KaBOOM! has
mapped over 85,000 places to play, built more than 2,000 playgrounds,
and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities
across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools
to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and
national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and
the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best
Seller KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. The book
details how businesses and communities can work together to save play
for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago
and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.