Chicago, IL – The Chicago community was revitalized today thanks to a new playground built at Nixon Elementary School. In just six hours, more than 200 volunteers from Foresters Financial™, Nixon Elementary School, Hermosa Neighborhood Association, Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI) and the national non-profit KaBOOM! created the new playspace, which will serve more than 900 children and their families in the local community for years to come.
"For over 140 years Foresters Financial has focused on our Purpose, which is to help families and strengthen communities," said Jim Boyle, President and CEO, Foresters Financial. "In 2018 we are excited to complete our 150th playground build with KaBOOM!. This partnership creates safe play areas where families can spend quality time together while developing young bodies and minds. We know the Chicago community will use this playground for many years to come."
The design for the new playground is based on drawings created by neighborhood children at a special Design Day event held in March when community members met with organizers from KaBOOM! and Foresters Financial to design their dream playground. The drawings inspired the final playground design.
Since 2006, Foresters Financial and KaBOOM! have built 147 beautiful playspaces across 86 cities in 31 states and provinces throughout North America and by the end of 2018, Foresters Financial will have funded more than 150 playgrounds. Thanks to the hard work of over 9,900 Foresters members, sales partners and guests for the last eleven years, we are positively impacting the lives of more than 5 million children by providing them with access to play. Through each new playground, families are better able to spend quality time together right in their own neighborhoods, playing alongside Foresters members and community partners.
“Families and community members brought to light the need for a safe playground, and rallied the whole community behind them in an effort for a playground their children deserve,” said the Active Parents of Nixon. “Today’s playground construction comes after a long journey for a safe play area at Nixon Elementary. This new playground is an example of what is possible when the community comes together on a common goal. A united community is a safe community!”
“HNA learned a lot about coalition building, agitation and nonprofit management through this struggle,” said Colin Bird, President, Board of Directors, HNA. “We also learned a lot about the time and patience it takes to make things right. We are looking forward to finally delivering this amenity to our community’s children.”
Play is the business of childhood and is essential to the physical, cognitive, creative, social and emotional development of every kid. It’s how kids build strong muscles and healthy bodies; it’s how they learn problem-solving, conflict resolution and creativity; it’s how they make friends and build strong bonds with adults. Play is critical to a kid’s ability to thrive.
Foresters Financial is a KaBOOM! Founding Partner and National Partner. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to ensuring that all kids get the balance and active play they need to thrive.
About Nixon Elementary School
Nixon is a proud neighborhood school situated in the heart of the Hermosa community. We offer a rigorous curriculum focused on supporting students in engaging in complex tasks, making their thinking visible, and synthesizing learning through writing. We are a proud bilingual school; our goal is to promote a bilingual and bicultural environment that affirms all cultural and linguistic backgrounds. We aim to expose our students to varied enrichment opportunities, including, but not limited to: sports, capoeira, ballet, folkloric dance, band, choir, and cuatro classes. We pursue these goals through multiple and varied partnerships, including partnership with parents, elected officials, and community organizations, such as Family Focus, Wright College, Hermosa Neighborhood Association, and many more. Visit our site or our school to learn more!
Hermosa Neighborhood Association (HNA)
The Hermosa Neighborhood Association (HNA) is a four-year old resident advocacy group fighting for better city services, schools, parks, and safety in Hermosa, Chicago. The organization seeks to aid and promote the general welfare of the community through dialogue, empowerment, and direct action. Since its inception, this grassroots nonprofit organization has engaged hundreds of residents and businesses in the Hermosa neighborhood. HNA facilitates educational workshops and advocates for schools, parks, and safety within the community. There are no other organizations providing the kind of resident services, community organizing and advocacy that HNA provides to the local community. Because of the need for this type of services HNA has experienced remarkable growth since its incorporation; as well as recognition from residents and elected officials as the voice of the community.
About Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI)
Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI), founded in 1995, is a Chicago-based grassroots force that empowers parents in low-income and under-resourced communities to participate in civic life and to advocate effectively for positive change. COFI has trained more than 4,000 parent leaders who are winning improvements in their schools and communities, creating their own organizations and programs, and changing policies on critical issues that affect families. For more information, visit www.cofionline.org.
About Foresters Financial
Foresters Financial™ is an international financial services provider with more than three million clients and members in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, and total funds under management of $45.1 billion1. With a history of more than 140 years, we provide life insurance, savings, retirement and investment solutions that help families achieve their financial goals, protect their families and improve their communities. For more information, visit foresters.com.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – especially those living in poverty – the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play. KaBOOM! inspires communities to make play the easy choice and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of PLAYces. KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build or improve more than 17,000 playspaces, engaged more than 1.5 million volunteers and served over 9 million kids. To learn why play matters for all kids, visit kaboom.org and join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom, facebook.com/kaboom and instagram.com/kaboom. #playmatters #PLAYceforKids
For more information:
416-429-3000 Ext: 4044