Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Encourage Quality Family Time by Building New Playground for Vancouver Children
Child-Designed Playground will Eventually Serve 21,000 Children and their Families
Vancouver, BC, July 09, 2011 – Children in Vancouver received a brand new playground today thanks to the effort of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, a life insurance provider committed to the well-being of families, Champlain Heights Community School and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will serve 21,000 children and their families in the Vancouver community for years to come. Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in May 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.
"Foresters shares its financial strength with its members and communities where they live, such as Vancouver,” said Kasia Czarski, Foresters Chief Membership and Marketing Officer. “Playgrounds are an ideal place for families to get to know other families and build strong communities. This new playground at Champlain Heights Community School will provide opportunities families to spend quality time together for years to come."
Since 2006, Foresters has invested over $7 million with KaBOOM! and built or planned almost 100 playgrounds 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 the 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.
The playground at Champlain Heights Community School will provide 21,000 children and their families in the Vancouver community with a great place to play and engage in healthy family time. In less than eight hours, the child-designed playground was built from scratch by hundreds of volunteers from Foresters, Champlain Heights Community School and the surrounding community. In addition, children and families spent the day playing games and participating in arts and crafts activities.
"In our neighborhood, many families live in the surrounding co-ops and complexes with little or no yard space for kids to play," said Champlain Heights Community School Principal Peter Evans. "A safe, fun playground gives these kids a place to socialize outside and engage in healthy physical activities. Over the past couple of years, neighborhood parents have struggled in the face of funding cuts at the local and provincial level to find resources to get the playground built. We are thrilled that Foresters and KaBOOM! have stepped in to make the project happen. The community build will be a unique opportunity to experience what a large group of committed volunteers can accomplish in one day."
Thanks to the work of Foresters, Champlain Heights Community School and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 4,000 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a Tire Swing, Slither Slide and Climbing Wall.
About Vancouver Board of Education/Champlain Heights Community School
At Champlain Heights Community School, we facilitate the development of the academic, social, emotional, physical and aesthetic potential of students to achieve their personal best in our diverse, multicultural society. In partnership with others in the community we provide guidance through example, experience, and involvement, in a safe supportive environment. Champlain Heights Community School is located in the south east corner of the city of Vancouver. It was built in the 1970s by the Vancouver School Board as a small open area school for Kindergarten to grade 7 students. The school had an addition built in 2000. The school currently has about 285 students.
Founded in 1874 as a fraternal benefit society, ForestersTM
champions the well-being of families through quality life insurance, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with more than 835,000 members in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Unity Life of Canada‡, a wholly owned subsidiary of Foresters, represents Foresters in Canada. For more information, please visit foresters.com
ForestersTM is a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9.
‡ Unity Life of Canada, a Foresters company, is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Independent Order of Foresters
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 almost 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
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Last Modified: Jul 09, 2011.
407535 CAN (06/11)