More than 200 volunteers from the Parramore community and Walt Disney World Resort came together today to assist KaBOOM! in building a much-needed playground and learning garden at the Orlando Day Nursery (ODN). In less than six hours, the group constructed a safe new play space to serve more than 300 local children as a great place to play and learn about healthy living. The playground build is one of a dozen taking place across the nation this year as part of The Walt Disney Company’s Disney Magic of Healthy Living campaign, which aims to make healthy lifestyles fun for children and families.
“Words cannot express our gratitude to these two amazing organizations, Disney and KaBOOM!,” said Mata Dennis, executive director of Orlando Day Nursery. “We too share their vision of every child growing up healthy through play and good nutrition. We are totally amazed that this many volunteers would give of their time to help ODN and our children. It is truly magical.”
Youngsters at Orlando Day Nursery had a hand in designing the 2,000 square-foot playground, which includes features such as a Circular Tube Slide, a Space Roof, a Buzzthru Panel, a Chime Panel, an Art Panel and much more. Hard-working volunteers moved more than 42,120 square feet of safety surfacing – enough to cover nearly 10 NBA-sized basketball courts. Volunteers also mixed 10,000 pounds of concrete by hand.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, play is important to healthy brain development and allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive and emotional strength. The new play space will also include a vegetable garden so that children can grow healthy food and get hands-on learning about nutrition.
Disney is championing the well-being of kids and families, contributing more than $1 million in 2011 to help KaBOOM! build playgrounds and learning gardens in 12 communities across the U.S. Leslie Goodman, senior vice president of Disney’s Corporate Citizenship team, says the KaBOOM! playgrounds play a pivotal role in Disney’s support of healthy lifestyles for kids and families. “We want to see everyone thrive by staying active and making healthy food choices. When it comes to partnering with parents and inspiring kids, our commitment is both local and global,” said Goodman. The playground build is a prelude to the first-ever Disney Magic of Healthy Living-The Weekend, which takes place at Walt Disney World Resort from March 18-20. The event is part of an overall Disney initiative designed to make healthy lifestyles fun for children and families. Fifty kids will be celebrated for their winning essays on living a healthier life and invited to explore a new world full of flavor and fun. Weekend activities include a one-of-a-kind “TRYathlon,” a course ‘around the world’ where kids try new foods and new moves that lead to a healthy lifestyle. Disney Channel stars and Disney characters will also join in the festivities.