“It’s amazing what can happen when people come together on behalf of students.”
With those words from Thomasville Heights Elementary Principal Charles Penn, the school celebrated its new KaBooom! playground and outdoor classroom. Foresters, a Toronto-based insurance company, funded the project and provided about 200 volunteers who helped pour concrete, rake mulch and erect a playground that features climbing walls, a cloud walk and, of course, swings. Donning their trademark red t-shirts, Foresters volunteers kept busy hammering, drilling and slowly transforming an open area into a fun play space. The company has dedicated $1.5 million to creating playgrounds in the United States as part of its mission to champion families.
“Foresters believes in giving back to the communities where we live and work,” said Bruce Burak, national sales manager, between ferrying mulch. “This is what it’s all about.”
Hands on Atlanta, APS alums and current students also donated sweat equity on a hot and humid Saturday morning.
“Everyone should have a chance to make a difference,” said Jahnai Cain, a senior at Carver’s School of Technology, who spent the day building benches and raised gardens. “I get to do something for kids, and they will see this playground and want to do something.”
The playground will serve about 7,500 children from the Thomasville community. No stranger to Atlanta Public Schools, KaBoom! also has helped build playgrounds at Venetian Hills, Slater, Fickett and Peyton Forest elementary schools, with more planned in years to come.
“We should always remember that today — a day when our country mourns buildings being torn down — we were able to come together and create something that will be used for years to come,” Penn said.