I’m going to talk a bit about how bringing your community together to rally around a volunteer project, like a playground, can benefit both the health and overall well being of a community.
KaBOOM! doesn’t just build playgrounds, we build community. It is this dual emphasis that we feel is key to the enduring success of our work within communities. KaBOOM! Theory of Change emphasizes both the product and the process. 1. We have found that local children in need of a playground provide a successful rallying point to gather diverse groups from within a community to work together for what we call a collective case. 2. Through Setting and completing goals throughout the planning process KaBOOM! see great joy and empowerment from what we call Achievable Wins 3. Finally Through having completed such a monumental task, we often see that communities go on to take on additional challenges, inspired by the leadership skills that were learned through building the playground. We call this Cascading Steps of Leadership.
To get things started off, I’m going to share a few quotes and statistics to highlight the importance of play in a child’s life and the impact that not having a safe place to play has on children. As you can see, play affects the quality of life they will enjoy and impacts them physically, emotionally, socially, and cognitively A recent study published in Health Affairs, based on the National Survey of Children’s Health, reveals a startling correlation between the play deficit and childhood obesity—in neighborhoods without a park or playground, the incidence of childhood obesity increases 29% --Gopal Singh, Mohammed Siahpush, and Michale Kogan, “Neighbohood Socioeconomic Conditions, Built Environments, and Chilhood Obesity.” Health Affairs, March 2010 Lack of play is directly linked to increasing childhood obesity rates and the resulting serious co-morbidities --CDC; Stanford University, 2007; Ginsberg, “The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development…”, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2007; Institute of Medicine, 2009 Research has suggested that encouraging unstructured play may be a good strategy to increase physical activity levels in children. --Burdette, Hillary L., and Robert C. Whitaker, “A National Study of Neighborhood Safety, Outdoor Play, Television Viewing, and Obesity in Preschool Children.” Pediatrics, 2005
Top Level approach to changing the narrative on play. Requires cities to pool together their resources and create a plan Cities must meet 5 commitments: perform an audit of playspaces; identify the items in the city budget devoted to play, and track that year over year; appoint a public/private task force devoted to play; create an action plan to increase the time devoted to play and the public places where kids can play; and to celebrate play Mayors must issue a proclamation in support of play and to host a municipal play day.
Currently looking to flesh out the mapping tool. Pending additional funding the tool will be developed in house. The technology is experimental at this stage, and as a field we are learning as we go. The map we are currently looking at is a mock up of the Washington DC area based on the data inputted into the KPSF! (Upon final completion of the mapping tool the data will synch at regular intervals) Explain: Map is based on 2000 census data of children 0-14 & entries into the playspace finder. This tool is based on crowd sourced data (can be input by the general public) so it is somewhat subjective. Additional factors we are interested in looking at (review slide) How you can get involved at the ground level. Provide more and better data Post KPSF to your websites Training to local citizens on how to effectively map playspaces (KB can provide a rubric) Provide Health, Demographic Stats that can be included in the tool KaBOOM additionally has the capacity to mark recognize individual records as being submitted by the New Mexico Health Department as a example.
This slide show the process of the Community-build Model. It begins with what we call a Design Day where the children draw and discuss their Dream Playgrounds and the Adults participate in an Asset-Mapping Activity and form planning committees. From there we hold weekly calls with the communities to make sure that they are progressing through the planning process. And Finally, by about 3 PM on build Day the playgrounds has been installed by volunteers all in one day.
Our process is based on the work of Jody Kretzman and John McKnight of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University. The process focuses on identifying and utilizing assets within the community to plan and build a playground.
In fact we currently have over 1,000 registered DIY projects, with more than 500 showing significant progress through the milestones that will determine success. Each project page is its own website. We anticipate that empowered Do-It-Yourselfers will build 1,930 playgrounds in 2010, compared to the 200 KaBOOM! will build.
BUT we know more needs to be done. We appreciate the press releases and talk about play, but we want to focus on cities that are DOING something about it. Though cities self-report best practices as part of the Playful City USA application process, we wanted a more rigorous, objective process, so we conducted a nearly year long investigation, including on-the ground field teams, to create the Play Matters report, which was issued in October 2009.
Ask participants to think about their current policy agenda and consider how they might involve use the (skills, talents) of individuals, Associations/ Businesses, and Institutions to help advance their agenda Highlight that it is often easiest to think about those we have close working relationships with or are within a close proximity to us. Try to think outside the box and include individuals and groups that may not always be asked to contribute to policy.
CM10 Improving Health Nate Rosenthal
Using Asset-Based Community Development
to Build Playspaces, Improve Health, and
Community Matters - October 2010
DIY Community Manager
The KaBOOM! vision:
A great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.
The KaBOOM! mission:
To create great playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities.
“Organizations like KaBOOM! are necessary not just to the health of our
children, but to the health of the entire nation.”
-- First Lady Michelle Obama, June 22, 2009
1. Collective Cause
2. Achievable Wins
3. Cascading Steps of Leadership
The KaBOOM! Theory of Change
There is a profound play deficit in America
A recent study published in Health Affairs, based on the National Survey of
Children’s Health, reveals a startling correlation between the play deficit
and childhood obesity—in neighborhoods without a park or
playground, the incidence of childhood obesity increases 29%
--Singh, Siahpush, and Kogan, March 2010
Lack of play is directly linked to increasing childhood obesity rates and
the resulting serious co-morbidities
--CDC; Stanford University, 2007; Ginsberg, 2009
Research suggests that encouraging unstructured play may be a good
strategy to increase physical activity levels in children.
--Burdette & Whitaker, 2005
Playful City USA - 5 Commitments
“We Missoulians prioritize healthy living each day by engaging in active fun…We believe wellness is
holistic, and play is the avenue to a healthier community and economy, as well as healthier and
happier children.” -- Parks and Recreation Director, Donna Gaukler of Missoula, MT
“We’ve been cited as one of the more obese communities in the nation. Obviously,
as kids stay active and have opportunities to stay active, that will reduce the obesity
in the community.” -- Parks Deputy Director Perry Ehresman of Fort Wayne, Ind.
KaBOOM! Playspace Finder
• Simple online engagement
o Add a playspace
o Become a fan
o Rate or comment
o Upload a photo
• Focus on real-world actions
o Organize or attend an
event at your playground
o “Check in” at your
o API = mobile apps
• Fans receive weekly update on
all activity at their playground
Looking to the future – play desert map
working definition: census blocks with kids (age 0-14) but no place to play
within walking distance (0.25 miles)
1-7 kids per census block
7-17 kids per block
17-24 kids per block
24-54 kids per block
more than 54 kids per block
• census 2000 (population by block)
• KaBOOM! (playspace location)
• An imperfect first pass
• A tool to help advocates and
policy makers understand the
impact and severity of the play
deficit at the neighborhood
• Only as good as the underlying
• Need accurate, near-
across entire country
• Not an exact research tool, but
rather an awareness tool.
2 months before 7:45 am 10:30 am
10:50 am 11:25 am 12:50 pm
1:25 pm 2:35 pm 2:50 pm
Local INSTITUTIONSLocal INSTITUTIONSCitizens’ ASSOCIATIONSCitizens’ ASSOCIATIONS
(Kretzman & McKnight, 1995)
Community Map: Asset-based approach
Gifts of INDIVIDUALSGifts of INDIVIDUALS
• Additional skills and talents
• Connections & their network
• Community members
• People with disabilities
• Youth and teens
• Neighborhood Associations
• Church Groups
• Service Clubs
• Ethnic Groups
• Athletic Clubs
• Women’s/Men’s Groups
• Youth Groups
• Political Organizations
• Professional Organizations
• Interest Clubs
• Community Centers
• Local Businesses
• Local Government
• Law Enforcement Agencies
• Social Service Agencies
• Natural Resources (land)