Playgrounds to the people: ending the play deficit
- Playgrounds to the people: ending the play deficit
Think about your neighborhood. Your house. The street. Does your neighborhood have a playground? If yes, you’re one of the lucky ones. And if not, well, there’s a D.C.-based non-profit whose job it is to build playgrounds. KaBOOM!! started in 1996 with two employees and a few thousand dollars in the bank. Now it is a multimillion-dollar operation with hundreds of thousands of volunteers who just build playgrounds, with a goal of having a playground within walking distance of every child in America. Earlier this year, KaBOOM! founder Darell Hammond won the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts to save play for America’s children, and end the so-called “play deficit.” KALW’s Hana Baba spoke with Hammond to find out what the big deal is about play.
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May 10, 2011
HANA BABA: There was a moment where you say, “I have to start building the play spaces for kids.” And it has to do with an article that you read – tell me about that.
DARELL HAMMOND: Yeah, well I read an article about two young kids, Iesha and Clendon, who were two- and four-year-old brother and sister, that in a heat wave of 1996 had gone into an abandoned Pontiac Trans Am car, suffocated, and died. And a Washington Post reporter went down and spent several weeks actually surveying the community where these kids were growing up, and couldn’t find a park, a playground, a swimming pool, a basketball court within three miles of where they lived.
BABA: So they went there to play.
HAMMOND: So they went there to play because they had nowhere else to play.
BABA: So what does a playground do to a neighborhood? What is the effect, do you think?
HAMMOND: What we’ve seen a lot of times is cri...
Read the full transcript