Kids in San Gabriel are celebrating today because they have a great new place to play. For months, representatives from City of San Gabriel, Blue Shield of California and KABOOM!, the nonprofit organization focused on ending playspace inequity, have been working together to increase access to playspaces for local kids with the creation of a new, kid-designed playground installation that began on December 30. The playground will give kids an incredible place to play close to where they live and learn, an opportunity that is often hard to achieve.
Located adjacent to Roosevelt Elementary School, this new playground was built with the generous support of Blue Shield of California and KABOOM! to address the physical, creative, cognitive, social and emotional development of kids in the San Gabriel community. The previous playground at this neighborhood park was built over 20 years ago as a pocket park that was in need of replacement. With the assistance of San Gabriel kids, their families and the San Gabriel Unified School District, a new playground was built at Roosevelt Park that will be accessible to neighborhood families and will serve as an afterschool play space for Roosevelt students.
“Through the generous support of Blue Shield of California and KABOOM!, the City of San Gabriel now has a new playground at Roosevelt Park,” said San Gabriel Mayor Denise Menchaca. “We are so happy to be given this opportunity to provide a safe playground for kids to play and grow. Playgrounds provide generations of recreational fun to the community.”
“The City of San Gabriel was thrilled to partner once again with KABOOM! to build this new play space for our community,” said Community Services Director Rebecca Perez. “ We are so grateful to KABOOM! and Blue Shield of California for making this project possible. San Gabriel’s kids are sure to enjoy playing on this new playground in 2021 and beyond.”
KABOOM! knows that playspaces are essential to resilience, health and childhood, and the communities who have been hit the hardest by COVID-19 – communities facing challenges already, and communities of color – are the same communities who often lack access to parks and playspaces due to historic disinvestment. The partners have teamed up to help end playspace inequity, creating a new place for kids to play that reflects the neighborhood’s unique needs and aspirations, and gives every kid the opportunity to experience the joys of childhood.
“We know disasters and crises often exacerbate the inequities that communities are already experiencing, and in many communities, kids won’t have a playground to go back to once the COVID-19 crisis is over,” says James Siegal, CEO of KABOOM!. “We must stop the playspace inequities from becoming even deeper after we get through this pandemic, giving every kid the chance to play and just enjoy being a kid.”
Through its partnership with Blue Shield of California, KABOOM! is committed to ending playspace inequity for kids, for communities, for good.
“At Blue Shield of California, we understand how important it is to provide youth with equitable access to safe outdoor activities,” said Lisa Davis, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Blue Shield of California. “Our organization is thankful to partner with KABOOM!, as their ongoing work to build playspaces plays a key role in keeping children in our communities healthy.”
To ensure that playgrounds are able to open safely in every community, KABOOM! has issued important playground guidance that all communities, playground owner/operators and caregivers can follow. The guidance can be viewed or downloaded at kaboom.org/reopen.