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Notable Investments in Play Earn Inaugural Playful City USA Leadership Award from KaBOOM!
BALTIMORE, Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As municipal and thought leaders from around the country gather in Baltimore to chart a path to ensure all children get the play they need to thrive, one such leader, Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, will be awarded the inaugural Playful City USA Leadership Award for his substantial investments in play.
"Cities are critical drivers for achieving play outcomes and most play-focused infrastructure investment, policies and programming happen at the local level. That is why we give special recognition to municipal leaders who prioritize play," said Darell Hammond, Founder and CEO of KaBOOM!, at the 2013 Playful City USA Leaders' Summit, sponsored by the Humana Foundation. "I am delighted to recognize Mayor Rahm Emanuel for championing play throughout the great city of Chicago, with the first Playful City USA Leadership Award."
"Thank you KaBOOM! and Humana for this honor. Five years from now, every child in the city of Chicago will be within a seven-minute walk from a new park in our city," said Emanuel in a video address to the crowd. "In addition to what we're doing with our playgrounds and parks throughout our city, we added an hour and 15 minutes to every school day, and we also added two weeks to every school year," he continued. "Our kids no longer have to choose reading or recess."
"Through multiple investments, Chicago is increasing access to playgrounds and other play spaces, while also dedicating more time for kids to play, both in and out of school," continued Hammond. "Mayor Emanuel is working in partnership with agencies, foundations, corporations, and other key stakeholders, to give all children in Chicago the childhood they deserve, and is a shining example and inspiration to others."
Chicago's investments in play in schools include:
Chicago's investments in play in communities include:
Play is critical to the physical, social, emotional, cognitive and creative development of children. However, a healthy balance of active play is falling victim to TV, video games, structured schedules, declining recess time, and a lack of access to safe play spaces. Initiatives like those being implemented in Chicago are critical to ensuring that all kids get the childhood they deserve.
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 95,000 places to play, built more than 2,300 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.
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