by Diana Bartlett
Dr Pepper Snapple Group and national non-profit KaBOOM! awarded the Intown Academy a $15,000 Let’s Play Community Construction Grant.
The grant is part of the Let’s Play initiative introduced in November of 2010 – a $15 million, three-year commitment from Dr Pepper Snapple Group to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit that's saving play by ensuring there is a great place to play within walking distance of every child. Together through Let’s Play, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM! will build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefiting an estimated five million children across North America.
In March 2012, the Intown Academy submitted a grant application to Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM! We are one of 36 organizations to receive a grant this year from a national pool of over a hundred applicants and was the only organization awarded from metro-Atlanta. The school is embarking on a capital campaign to raise the remaining $25,000 needed to build the playground by April 2013. When built, the Intown Academy will be the only school in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood with a playground.
“Physical fitness is as important an achievement as academic mastery,” says the Intown Academy’s principal, Lola Burse. “Having a playground at the Intown Academy within our fenced area means that students — especially those in grades kindergarten through second — can play in a safe, secure area within a few steps of our back door.”
Unstructured, child-directed play has been proven to help kids develop physically, socially and cognitively, yet today’s kids have less time and fewer opportunities to play than any previous generation. Via Let’s Play grants and projects in 2011, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM! built or improved 528 playgrounds, benefitting an estimated 1.3 million children during the lifetime of the playgrounds. People are encouraged to visit Let’s Play at www.LetsPlay.com to join the conversation and learn how to apply for the various available grants to make their communities more active and playful.
Ms. Bartlett is member of the Intown Academy's Playground Committee.