Amory named a 2014 Playful City USA Community for 3rd Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mike Vietti, KaBOOM!, mvietti@kaboom.org
785-320-2137 or 352-278-0522

Prioritizing Play for Children: Non-Profit Organization KaBOOM! Names Amory Among 212 “Playful City USA” Communities

Communities Recognized for Fighting Play Deficit by Implementing Pro-Play Policies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today’s children spend less time playing outside than any previous generation, but 212 cities and towns, including Amory, earned recognition from national non-profit KaBOOM! as 2014 Playful City USA communities for their efforts to increase play opportunities for children.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, play is critical to healthy brain development. It allows children to use their creativity while simultaneously developing imagination, dexterity and physical, cognitive and emotional strength. Yet today’s children spend less time playing outside than any previous generation in part because only 1-in-5 live within walking distance of a park or playground. The resulting play deficit is having profound consequences for kids physically, socially and academically.

Presented by The Humana Foundation, Playful City USA is a national program advocating for local policies that increase play opportunities for children and is a key platform in combating the play deficit.

KaBOOM!, the national non-profit organization dedicated to saving play, created Playful City USA in 2007 to help local governments address the play deficit and it is through mayors, city council members, parks and recreation departments, school districts and community leaders that the program succeeds in benefitting children.

Hailing from 44 states, the 212 Playful City USA honorees range in size from seven-time honorees such as Orlando and Phoenix to third-time recipient Amory, Mississippi. These Playful City USA communities are making a commitment to play and physical activity by developing unique local action plans to increase the quantity and quality of play in their community.

Some of the most innovative concepts and cost-effective programs are being developed in Playful City USA communities,” says Darell Hammond, Founder and CEO of KaBOOM! and author of The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. “Cities like Amory are key allies in the fight to combat the play deficit and serve as outstanding role models for government and community leaders across the country.”

Each of the 2014 Playful City USA communities demonstrated creative commitments to addressing the play deficit. Playful City USA celebrates and highlights these unique initiatives developed by communities across the country. A primary goal of Playful City USA is to encourage cities and towns to share ideas, concepts and programs in an effort to increase play opportunities for children.

KaBOOM! also selected Amory for its outstanding dedication to play. Amory is looking to further the health and wellness of its citizens by passing more health related ordinances, including Safe Routes to School, creating new play spaces, rebuilding existing play spaces, and creating a new Nature Trail. Another objective is to see an improvement in the overall physical health of the youth of Amory through use of outdoor activity areas.

The 212 Playful City USA communities are now eligible for $15,000, $20,000 and $30,000 grants via Let’s Play, a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, to get kids and families active nationwide.

For more information on the KaBOOM! Playful City USA program, including Let’s Play grants and applications for 2015, visit www.playfulcityusa.org.

2014 Playful City USA Communities

Times an honoree#
Alabama
Birmingham4
Dothan8
Arizona
Buckeye3
Casa Grande6
Chandler8
Coolidge7
Gilbert8
Maricopa2
Mesa6
Oro Valley4
Prescott Valley
Tempe
Tucson8
Yuma8
Arkansas
Springdale7
California
Anaheim
Azusa3
Baldwin Park6
Brentwood7
Carson3
Cerritos7
Encinitas7
Glendora4
Healthy Rim
Communities
Kerman8
La Habra
La Mesa7
Lakewood5
Live Oak2
Pico Rivera4
Rancho Cucamonga4
Redwood City5
Riverside7
Roseville2
San Bernardino5
San Francisco8
Santa Fe Springs3
Whittier3
Colorado
Broomfield3
Commerce City6
Evans6
Gypsum2
Northglenn7
Thornton6
Connecticut
Coventry4
Meriden4
District of Columbia
Washington
Florida
Coconut Creek3
Coral Gables6
Doral5
Fort Lauderdale3
Fort Myers3
Hallandale Beach2
Kissimmee4
Lauderhill5
Margate3
Miami Lakes6
New Port Richey6
North Port5
Oakland Park2
Oldsmar5
Orlando7
Ormond Beach3
Palm Bay7
Palmetto Bay5
Parkland7
Rockledge4
Safety Harbor7
Sunrise5
Tamarac5
Tampa3
West Park4
Winter Park4
Georgia
Albany5
Atlanta8
College Park5
East Point5
Richmond Hill5
Savannah5
Idaho
Payette
Illinois
Chicago2
Columbia6
Waterloo4
Indiana
Bloomington7
Fishers6
Fort Wayne5
Franklin5
Iowa
Ankeny8
Davenport5
North Liberty3
Kansas
Bel Aire2
Derby4
Ellsworth2
Lawrence
Ottawa5
Parsons4
Kentucky
Beattyville3
Beaver Dam
Murray7
Pikeville4
Williamstown4
Louisiana
Baton Rouge2
DeRidder7
Hammond3
Kenner7
New Orleans3
New Roads8
Maine
Saco4
Maryland
Capitol Heights3
Greenbelt8
Laurel6
Rockville
Takoma Park6
Massachusetts
Chicopee2
Fall River3
Greenfield3
Montague
Peabody2
Salisbury
Shirley8
Michigan
Flint
Grand Rapids4
Holly4
Minnesota
Oak Park Heights5
Winona4
Mississippi
Amory3
Hernando7
Horn Lake5
Plantersville
Senatobia4
Starkville4
Missouri
Ballwin
Chesterfield
Ferguson4
Montana
Missoula6
Nebraska
Lincoln
Nevada
Henderson7
New Hampshire
Pelham2
New Jersey
Hamilton6
New Mexico
Las Cruces6
New York
Geneva3
New York City
Niagara Falls5
North Carolina
Albermarle5
Benson
Creedmoor8
Durham6
Eden
Garner
Lenior
Marion2
Raleigh3
Reidsville
Roanoke Rapids
Saluda3
Thomasville
North Dakota
Bismarck5
Ohio
Columbus6
Moraine4
Piqua2
Oklahoma
El Reno
Yukon2
Oregon
Salem
Pennsylvania
Allentown6
Bethlehem5
Factoryville2
Indiana2
McKeesport2
Pittsburgh4
Reading3
York7
Rhode Island
Providence3
South Carolina
Columbia
Greenville4
North Charleston4
Rock Hill4
Spartanburg8
South Dakota
Pierre3
Tennessee
Etowah2
Memphis
Mount Juliet5
Nashville
Oak Ridge3
Sweetwater4
Texas
Alamo4
Alvin4
Arlington7
Austin3
Balch Springs3
Beaumont
Brownsville2
China Spring3
Grand Prairie7
Killeen6
McAllen4
Mesquite2
Rowlett5
San Antonio6
San Juan
The Colony4
Virginia
Danville7
Hopewell4
Washington
Auburn6
Kenmore5
Mercer Island7
Mountlake Terrace
West Virginia
Keyser3
Shinnston4
Wisconsin
Bellevue2
Milton2
Platteville
River Falls2
Strum2

About KaBOOM!
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.

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 support charitable activities that promote healthy lives and healthy communities. The Foundation’s key priorities for funding are childhood health and education, health literacy, and intergenerational health. 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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