Playground to enhance family well-being
COLUMBUS, OH, Aug. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - A dream is now a reality for children in Columbus as their drawings were turned into a new playground today. In less than eight hours, the play space was built at the E.L. Hardy Center with the help of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, the E.L. Hardy Center and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will serve more than 16,500 children and their families in the community for years to come.
"Foresters believes in providing opportunities for families to spend quality time together," said Kasia Czarski, Foresters Senior Vice President, Chief Membership and Marketing Officer. "A playground is an important piece for the revitalization of a community. Not only does it provide a first step towards keeping children healthy, but it's a safe, central location for the entire neighborhood to get together."
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 Foresters to design their dream playground. The children's drawings were then used to create the final playground design.
Since 2006, Foresters has invested over $7 million with KaBOOM! with almost 100 playgrounds built or planned across the U.S. and Canada. Over their 15 year lifespan, these playgrounds will provide more than 2.6 million children and their families with an opportunity to spend quality time together. Foresters is a KaBOOM! National Partner and a founding member of the KaBOOM! Leadership Circle - a group of organizations providing long-term guidance and support to KaBOOM! and its mission.
"When the playground project was presented to the kids in the camp to design, excitement sprang up all over the class room," said Monica Lowe, Site Coordinator, Hardy Center Summer Program. "Kids from first grade to 8th grade wanted to give their input to the design of the playground. Once the kids selected a design, they expressed to us that this was something they could take credit for and something that will beautify their community."
Thanks to the work of Foresters, the E.L. Hardy Center and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 2,898 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a Slither Slide, Swings and an Inclined Cliff Hanger.
A passionate advocate for family well-being, Foresters recently launched the Tech Timeout™ challenge, which encourages families to take a pledge to turn off all electronic devices for an hour a day for one week. For more details, visit techtimeout.com.
About E.L. Hardy Center
The Hardy Center is an exciting community Summer Feed program designed to provide children with breakfast, lunch, education and fun activities for the Summer. Our mission is to provide inner-city youth and their parents with the elements they need to become more viable within this society. This year the center served over 1,500 citywide daily at 43 sites in central Ohio. Our objective is to provide the children a safe nurturing environment free from bullying or intimidation. Our programs provide school based instruction but also a place to be exposed to things that may not be normally available to them; like computer instruction, life skills, nutrition, chess, fencing, Lego robotics, martial arts, unicycle instruction, homework help, tutoring, and healthy meals every day of operation. We know the children to leave our programs better prepared to excel in school and in life. For more information, visit the Hardy Center at www.ELhardycenter.org.
Foresters™ is a life insurance provider with a difference. The fraternal benefit society, founded in 1874, supports family well-being through quality products, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with over one million members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit foresters.com.
Foresters™ is the trade name and a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, 789 Don Mills Road, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9; its subsidiaries are licensed to use this mark.
Tech Timeout and the Tech Timeout logo are trademarks of The Independent Order of Foresters
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. 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. Social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C.with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America because children need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,300 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!: A Movement to Save Play, now out in paperback. 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 an office in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.