Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

January 2022

KABOOM! Launches Initiative Toward Ending Playspace Inequity

KABOOM!, a national nonprofit committed to ending playspace inequity, announced the launch of its 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity, a five-year, $250 million plan to accelerate efforts toward achieving playspace equity across the United States. A $14 million gift from well-known philanthropist MacKenzie Scott enables the initiative to begin work in several places, which will be announced over the coming months.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has threatened the livelihood of communities, including schools and public spaces, and stifled their ability to allow kids to enjoy what it means to be a kid. In the past three years, many young children have never experienced, and older kids may not remember what it's like to freely participate in extracurricular activities or simply play on a playground with their peers without limitations, caution or fear. The impact of the pandemic has weakened the physical, social and emotional health of all children who are growing up under its weight. This is especially true in disadvantaged communities that are already bearing the brunt of disinvestment and lack of resources.

"Our children are facing unprecedented challenges, making our mission that much more urgent, requiring the sustained commitment and support for kids and communities that are often denied opportunities," said Lysa Ratliff, CEO of KABOOM!. "We are making great progress, but we can't do it alone - we need the partnership of funders, communities, nonprofits, municipal agencies, and other organizations that support kids. Playspace equity is achievable in our lifetime, and together, we can work to end playspace inequity for good."

Creating safe spaces for kids to heal and recover is critical to their well-being. KABOOM! is bringing people and resources together to invest in children, prioritizing efforts to eliminate the inequities that prevent healthy childhoods for the kids who are often denied opportunities to thrive.

The KABOOM! 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity raises the urgency of addressing the immediate and long-term needs of kids by creating a roadmap to end playspace inequity, accelerating progress within 25 priority places in the next five years.

KABOOM! works to end playspace inequity so that every child can experience the same benefits and have access to the same opportunities to thrive that places to play provide.

The nonprofit plans to raise $250 million for the 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity, bringing together diverse partners to drive resources to local places with limited access to quality playspaces.

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