WASHINGTON, July 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play, and Target launched the Play Everywhere Challenge, a competition that will award $720,000 in grants to local communities in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Miami. The Challenge will make it easier for kids and families to get the active play they need by integrating play opportunities into everyday life and unexpected places.
The well-being of communities starts with the well-being of kids, and play is critical to their physical, cognitive, creative, social and emotional development. Research confirms that when kids play, they grow up more healthy, resilient and ready for life. It's how kids learn how to problem-solve, resolve conflicts and build relationships, all necessary developmental skills they need to succeed as adults.
However, far too many are missing out on the chance to play because of lack of time and lack of playspaces in their communities. Many kids, especially in low-income communities, spend a lot of time commuting and running errands with parents or caregivers, losing valuable play time to wait at bus stops or make trips to the laundromat. Making it as easy as possible for families to incorporate play into their daily schedules is key to kids getting the active play they need to thrive.
"Play is the essence of childhood, and absolutely critical to developing happy, healthy and creative kids," said James Siegal, CEO of KaBOOM!. "Playspaces serve as essential anchors in communities that value and nurture kids and families. With Target's support of the Play Everywhere Challenge, we are able to make play the easy choice for families, helping hundreds of thousands of kids get the childhood they deserve so they can thrive."
The Play Everywhere Challenge supports the integration of play into everyday moments. Winning organizations will receive funding for ideas that encourage families to get active and play together in a variety of unexpected spaces, including sidewalks, vacant lots, bus stops, open streets and beyond.
The Challenge is part of a broader effort led by KaBOOM! and Target focused on engaging communities to help families make active play a part of everyday life. In addition to the Play Everywhere Challenge, the partners will build four community and kid-designed playgrounds, and host the Play Everywhere Tour, bringing families and kids together across the four cities for a free, fun-filled family play day. By the end of the year, KaBOOM! and Target will bring 225 new playspaces to life, reaching more than a half-million kids across the country.
Applications will be accepted from July 21 – September 1, 2017. Applicants can be government entities, non-profits or individuals/groups who have partnered with them. To learn more, including how to apply for a Play Everywhere Challenge grant, please visit https://kaboom.org/playability/play_everywhere/challenge.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,816 stores and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit to communities, which today equals millions of dollars a week. For more information, visit Target.com/Pressroom. For a behind-the-scenes look at Target, visit Target.com/abullseyeview or follow @TargetNews on Twitter.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open, or improve more than 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers, and served 8.5 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters and why cities are embracing #playability: visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.