So Kids Can founders Mike Green and Elliot Segal, along with Washington Capitals players Karl Alzner, Nicklas Backstrom and Joel Ward and 200 volunteers, built a Caps-themed KaBOOM! playground at Associates for Renewal in Education (ARE) in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 15.
ARLINGTON, Va. – So Kids Can founders Mike Green and Elliot Segal, along with Washington Capitals players Karl Alzner, Nicklas Backstrom and Joel Ward and 200 volunteers, built a Caps-themed KaBOOM! playground at Associates for Renewal in Education (ARE) in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 15. Green and Segal raised the money to build the playground through their So Kids Can initiative during the 2010-11 season with help from program partner IceWEB, Washington Capitals Charities and fan donations. The new playground will provide more than 600 children in the Bloomingdale neighborhood with a safe place to play.
Green and Segal created So Kids Can in 2008 to raise money for local youth-focused, nonprofit organizations. Since its inception Green and Segal have helped raise more than $150,000 through So Kids Can.
“This is all about the kids,” said Green. “To be able to share this with so many Caps fans is really special. Elliot and I have been working all year on making this playground a reality, and it’s so exciting to finally be able to make it happen.”
It took six hours for Green, Segal, Alzner, Backstrom, Ward and the 200 volunteers to build the playground, which included moving seven tons of mulch and mixing and pouring 145 cubic yards of concrete. They also put together three adult picnic tables, one shade structure, three trellis planter benches, four Mendocino benches and three tabletop games; weeded and planted a flower bed; and painted a mural.
At the end of the day, Green and Segal talked about what the project meant to them and thanked the volunteers for all their hard work. After a group photo with the Caps players, Segal, KaBOOM! and ARE staff members as well as all the volunteers in front of the new playground, the children in attendance ripped apart a paper chain in celebration.
Green and Segal are planning to visit ARE on Monday, Sept. 19, at 4 p.m., to officially open the playground. It takes the concrete 72 hours to set so although the playground was completed on Friday, children aren’t allowed to play on it until Monday.
About Associates for Renewal in Education
Since its incorporation in 1971, Associates for Renewal in Education, Inc. (ARE) has earned the strong endorsement and respect of the city’s educational and social services communities. Its mission is to promote the well-being of children, youth and families of the District of Columbia, and to help them achieve success in education, employment, family, community and civic roles. ARE works with a wide variety of community agencies to offer high quality services and it takes a leadership role in many community activities, organizations and professional associations. From 2001 through 2010 ARE’s many programs serving children, youth, adult learners, parents and families in the District of Columbia enhanced the lives of 24,500 citizens and residents. By the end of 2011, we expect to have offered services to almost 2,500 new citizens.
About KaBOOM!KaBOOM! is the national nonprofit 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 nonprofit 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 more than 85,000 places to play, built more than 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.