Woonsocket, RI (June 21, 2013) – Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) and national non-profit KaBOOM! have awarded the Bernon Heights Elementary School PTO, in partnership with the Woonsocket Education Department (WED), a $15,000 Let’s Play Community Construction Grant.
The grant is part of Let’s Play, a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to get kids and families active nationwide. In 2011, as part of Let’s Play, Dr Pepper Snapple Group made a $15 million, three-year commitment to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit 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.
“For several years, the Bernon Heights PTO has been working hard to raise the funds needed to build a playground,” said Amy Thibault, PTO member and Playground Committee Chair. “This much-needed grant has given us the remaining funding needed to break ground on a new playspace for the school’s students.”
Bernon Heights’ playground initiative began several years ago, when a student approached the PTO and asked the group to build a playground for the school’s children. Since then, the PTO has held numerous fundraisers to raise money for the project, including the creation of the annual Bernon Heights PTO Spookfest, a Halloween-themed festival that features a Spooky Trail, arts and crafts and other kid-friendly activities. Last summer, the PTO hired students from RiverzEdge Arts Project to create a “painted” playground on the blacktop outside the school. Building an actual playground adjacent to the school is the next step in this multi-year effort.
With the Let’s Play Community Construction Grant, the PTO is now able to fast-track the construction of a playground and is beginning the planning process. Work will continue throughout the summer, with a community playground build scheduled for the fall. Anyone interested in making a monetary donation to the project or participating in the playground build can visit the Bernon Heights playground page at www.OurDreamPlayground.org or contact email@example.com.
“We are happy to be working with both the Woonsocket Education Department and the City of Woonsocket on this exciting project,” added Thibault. “When completed, this playground will encourage physical activity and creativity, and provide Bernon’s students with a safe and engaging place to play.”
"The WED is thrilled that the Bernon PTO has led the charge to provide a fabulous opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Giovanna Donoyan, Superintendent of Woonsocket Schools. “The children will now have a beautiful playground to enjoy and add to their physical activity. This is an all around healthy opportunity!"
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. Through 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.
About Bernon Heights PTO
The Bernon Heights PTO is a group of dedicated parents and teachers who raise money to pay for events, assemblies, and activities that enhance the education of the children at Bernon Heights. All parents are encouraged to join the PTO by attending the monthly meetings and by volunteering school events.
About Let’s Play
Let’s Play is a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) to get kids and families active nationwide. The first Let’s Play initiative is a $15 million, three-year commitment to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit that’s saving play. Together, through Let’s Play, DPS and KaBOOM! will build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefiting an estimated five million children across North America. For more information, visit LetsPlay.com or Facebook.com/LetsPlay.
About Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) is a leading producer of flavored beverages in North America and the Caribbean. Our success is fueled by more than 50 brands that are synonymous with refreshment, fun and flavor. We have 6 of the top 10 non-cola soft drinks, and 11 of our 14 leading brands are No. 1 in their flavor categories. In addition to our flagship Dr Pepper and Snapple brands, our portfolio includes 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Clamato, Crush, Hawaiian Punch, Mott's, Mr & Mrs T mixers, Peñafiel, Rose's, Schweppes, Squirt and Sunkist soda. To learn more about our iconic brands and Plano, Texas-based company, please visit DrPepperSnapple.com. For our latest news and updates, follow us at Facebook.com/DrPepperSnapple or Twitter.com/DrPepperSnapple.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. 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. To fight this play deficit, 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. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 89,000 places to play, built more than 2,000 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!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. 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 offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.