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Baton Rouge named Playful City USA community for second consecutive year

BR one of 212 Communities Recognized for Prioritizing Play for Children

Baton Rouge is one of 212 cities and towns to earn recognition from the national nonprofit KaBOOM! as a 2014 Playful City USA community for providing children with ample opportunities for play.

Today’s generation of children play less than any previous generation despite the vast benefits of play. The Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that play is essential to the social, emotional, cognitive and physical well-being of children.

Sponsored by the Humana Foundation, Playful City USA is a national program from KaBOOM! that celebrates and promotes local policies that increase play opportunities for children and is a key platform in combating the lack of play among children.

Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden said it’s no accident that Baton Rouge was named a “Playful City USA” community for the second consecutive year.

“This designation fits perfectly with our city’s Healthy City Initiative, which targets childhood obesity by encouraging kids to eat healthier and exercise more,” Mayor Holden said. “It’s also a testimony to the efforts of BREC, which is one of the top parks and recreation programs in the country, and to the local school system for recognizing the value of physical education.”

KaBOOM!, the national non-profit organization which is dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most, created Playful City USA in 2007 to help local governments address the lack of play and it is through mayors, city council members, parks and recreation departments, school districts and community leaders that the program succeeds in benefitting children.

“By doing its part to make it easy for all kids to get the play they need to thrive – what we call Playability – Baton Rouge is moving the needle on the numerous challenges that play can help to solve,” said Darell Hammond, Founder and CEO of KaBOOM! “Play is a powerful part of the solution to pressing local challenges, from building the 21st century skills of problem-solving, collaboration, creativity, and resilience to addressing childhood obesity to revitalizing communities into kid-friendly environments that give communities a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining residents and businesses.”

For more information on the KaBOOM! Playful City USA program,visit www.playfulcityusa.org.


About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. Social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America because children need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,200 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: A Movement to Save Play, now out in paperback. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has an office in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.


About the Humana Foundation

The Humana Foundation was established in 1981 as the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., one of the nation’s leading health care companies. Located in Louisville, Ky., the site of Humana’s corporate headquarters, the Foundation’s mission is to promote healthy lives and healthy communities. The Foundation’s key funding priorities are childhood health, intergenerational health, and active lifestyles. For more information, visit www.humanafoundation.org.

Humana and the Humana Foundation are dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility. Our goal is to ensure that every business decision we make reflects our commitment to improving the health and well-being of our members, our associates, the communities we serve, and our planet.


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