UPDATE: Check out the NPR feature on KaBOOM! here.
For the second time in the 2010-11 school year, an APS elementary collaborated with a community partner to bring a KaBOOM! playground. Grove Park Elementary welcomed more than 250 volunteers, who braved the threat of rain and got the job done ahead of schedule. Grove Park Elementary Principal Caitlin Sims made the point that as schools and their students work hard to meet their academic targets, they should have a childhood that’s “joyful.” She welcomed help from the school’s match-up with The Home Depot Foundation (represented in the video above by Community Affairs Specialist Tyrene Hodges), which helped supply some of the volunteers.
It was a particularly emotional moment for parent Antonio Fleming Sr., whose son Antonio Jr. is a fourth-grader at the school but also who is a Grove Park alum himself. He spoke eloquently about seeing an improved school grounds for his son and the community. The playground build included not just the traditional set-up but also a gazebo, a large hand-painted chess board on the cement playground (for the school’s active chess club), a map of the United States at the front of the school, a picnic area and stained wooden benches.
Sims also was proud to announce that Atlanta Falcons linebacker Mike Peterson and his foundation have adopted Grove Park as one of their schools and covered the school’s $7,500 matching-fund commitment for the playground, which often costs about $60,000. They’ll celebrate that partnership in a ceremony on Tuesday at the school.