“It’s easy to come to work with a smile on your face when you work in a Playful City,” said Parks and Recreation Director Craig Bronzan. “We’ve hit a grand slam, being named a Playful City for the fourth consecutive year.”
A primary goal of Playful City USA is to encourage cities and towns to share creative ideas, concepts and programs in an effort to increase play opportunities for children. Among the reasons KaBOOM! selected Brentwood as one of the 151 cities nationwide to be honored is its dedication to addressing America’s “play deficit.”
“The Play Deficit continues to harm our children and stifle their mental and physical development, while directly facilitating the ongoing childhood obesity crisis,” said KaBOOM! Founder and CEO Darell Hammond. “These 151 Playful City USA communities have joined KaBOOM! in making a collective statement that we will no longer accept the misconception that play is a luxury when the reality is that play is an absolute necessity for children.”
This summer, Brentwood offered the Playport to Fun program, a unique way to engage the community in play. The city encouraged residents to travel to as many parks as possible during the summer, and provided games and programs at those parks to foster family involvement.
The city concludes the Playport to Fun program with its annual Play Day on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Veterans Park, 3841 Balfour Road. Kids of all ages are welcome participate in games, a scavenger hunt, kite flying, chalk drawings and a small park improvement project to celebrate the city’s achievement.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, play is important to healthy brain development and allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive and emotional strength. Today’s children spend less time playing outside than any previous generations in part because only 20 percent live within walking distance of a park or playground. One of KaBOOMS’s goals is to provide every child an outdoor playspace within a five-minute walk of home.
For more information on the KaBOOM! Playful City USA program, visit www.kaboom.org/playfulcityusa.