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400+ Volunteer for Trenton Playground Build

August 11, 2012 | Trenton

More than 400 volunteers from the Trenton community came out and spent the entire day building a new playground at Monument Elementary School on August 11th.  Made possible by a $20,000 grant awarded by KaBOOM!, the tremendous show of solidarity emphasized the community’s support to provide an environment that promotes health, fitness and physical activity among Trenton children and their families. 

KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to saving play by ensuring there is a great place to play within walking distance of every child, last May, selected the City of Trenton as a 2012 Playful City USA community. 

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.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “There is substantial evidence that physical activity can help improve academic achievement, including grades and standardized test scores.”

“The enthusiasm surrounding this effort has been infectious,” said Bernadette Trapp, principal of Monument Elementary School.  “Our students stepped up to the plate and created several design options for the new playground and we voted on the one that was built.  This effort is in line with Monument’s “Healthy Initiatives” program, which beginning this fall will include healthier meal options for our students.”

The Healthy Initiatives Program is supported by  the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids, a statewide program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Taking the lead in the new playground project at Monument was the Greater Trenton Area YMCA.  “Our community is so grateful to be the beneficiaries of this wonderful grant and project,” said Sam Frisby, CEO of YMCA Trenton and Co-director of NJPHK-Trenton.  “This initiative shows that the Trenton community is serious about health and wellness among our youth and their families.

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