A national nonprofit is set to begin construction on a new playground in Ward 8. (Courtesy photo)

KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that low-income children receive a childhood filled with balanced and active play, is coming to Ward 8, where it is set to construct its 3,000th playground.

On Oct. 18, the Town Hall Education Arts Recreational Campus (THEARC) kicked off a national celebration for KaBOOM!, in appreciation for over two decades of service to disadvantaged youth.

“KaBOOM! works to bring balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America,” officials for the organization said. “We do this by creating great places to play, inspiring communities to promote and support play and driving the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives.

​”We believe play matters for all kids, because all the science affirms that play is critical to a child’s overall health, development and well-being,” the officials said. “Moreover, play can help tackle a number of urgent issues plaguing our society — especially those endemic among low-income communities.”

Invited attendees for the daylong celebration included Mayor Muriel Bowser, KaBOOM! CEO James Siegal, THEARC Executive Director Rahsaan Bernard, members of the Washington Capitals and author and artist Dallas Clayton, who was commissioned to paint an onsite mural.

Over 36,500 children east of the Anacostia River are expected to use the new playground.

In addition, to coincide with the 3,000-playground milestone, KaBOOM! will also throw a grand opening celebration titled, “PLAYce for Kids Day!”

The national celebration will commemorate the first KaBOOM! playground completed on Oct. 21, 1995, in D.C. and salute partnering organizations.

Since 1996, KaBOOM! has built or enhanced more than 16,700 playgrounds for more than 8.5 million children nationwide.

“Kids who have play as part of their school day, do better in school, become better team players, and develop into more creative thinkers — and they are much more likely to carry these skills into adulthood,” organization officials said. “This is why KaBOOM! is dedicated to giving all kids the play they deserve by bringing together parents, advocates, and community and national partners to ensure that kids have the opportunity to play every day, everywhere.”

Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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