ABOVE: Volunteers from The Smile Generation give area kids the childhood they deserve by building a new playground at First Metropolitan Church in Houston, TX
More than 200 volunteers from The Smile Generation, including more than 100 dentists and staff, members of the First Metropolitan Church and the community, recently joined KaBOOM! to give area kids the childhood they deserve by building a new playground at First Metropolitan Church in Houston, located at 8870 W Sam Houston Parkway North. The playground design was based on children’s drawings created at a special design event that was held in September.
“Houston has been through a lot the last couple of months, and we are so happy we can bring some joy to this community by building this playground,” says Kyle Guerin, Sr. Manager, Smile Generation. “We have lots of employees that are passionate about giving back to the communities in which they work, and we were so happy to work with KaBOOM! and First Met to help build a place for the entire community surrounding the church to play and be outdoors.”
A playground is more than a place to play. It’s a brain-expander, friend-maker, and muscle-builder. Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a productive adult. It can transform children from becoming sedentary, bored and solitary to becoming physically, mentally and socially prepared for life. The new playground will bring more than 2,500 kids in Houston one step closer to having the play-filled childhood they deserve. In building this play space together, the groups are making it easier for all kids to get balanced and active play and making Houston more playable. First Metropolitan Church is a church that promotes family and strives to meet the needs of the community mentally, spiritually, economically as well as physically. The church promotes exercise, nutrition, well-being and play.
This playground will provide a community space for a garden, a playground and a creative arts area. This new park will be a very critical addition to the community.
“Kids stay inside watching TV, instead of exercising and playing outdoors,” says Dr. Evelyn Ogletree, First Metropolitan Church’s Executive Pastor. “We are so happy KaBOOM! and The Smile Generation chose First Metropolitan Church for this playground as it will draw the community together to enjoy outdoor fun. You are never too old to play and have fun, and although much of the playground is for small children, there are activities for teens, as well as a garden area for seniors. It will definitely be a great addition to our community!”
Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to the bold goal of giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve, filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. With its partners, KaBOOM! has built, improved and opened nearly 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers, and served 8.5 million kids (#playmatters).