Media Contact: Cyncia Raymond, PIO
City of North Miami
305-893.6511 Ext. 12244
craymond@northmiamifl.gov

NORTH MIAMI AWARDED 2013 PLAYFUL CITY USA COMMUNITY

North Miami, FL – 5/9/2013

BUILDING A MOVEMENT FOR PLAY: NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION KABOOM! NAMES NORTH MIAMI AMONG 217 "PLAYFUL CITY USA" COMMUNITIES

Communities Recognized for Prioritizing Play for Children

With research proving play is critical to the overall well-being of children, 217 cities and towns, including North Miami, earned recognition from national non-profit KaBOOM! as 2013 Playful City USA communities for their efforts to give children the childhood they deserve by providing 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.

KaBOOM!, the national non-profit organization 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.

“Kids need to play actively, every day, at home, in school and in their communities, yet play is disappearing,” said Darell Hammond, Founder and CEO of KaBOOM! and author of New York Times Best Seller A Movement to Save Play. “Children spend nearly eight hours a day in front of a screen; almost half of all poor students are deprived of recess; and to make matters worse, only one in five children live within walking distance of a park. Playful City USA communities like North Miami are creating innovative programs and initiatives and deserve recognition because of their efforts to give kids the childhood they deserve and best prepare them for their future.”

Hailing from 43 states, the 217 Playful City USA honorees range in size from seven-time honorees such as San Francisco and Spartanburg, S.C., to first-time recipient Ellsworth, Kan. (population: 3,100). 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.

Each of the 2013 Playful City USA communities demonstrated creative commitments to addressing the lack of play among children. 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! selected North Miami for its outstanding dedication to play. North Miami is working to making communities playful for people of all ages. The city has focused on making the community more accessible via bicycles to encourage healthier lifestyles and create easier access to local playgrounds and recreation centers.

For more information on the KaBOOM! Playful City USA program, including Let’s Play grants and applications for 2014, visit www.playfulcityusa.org or call North Miami Parks and Recreation Administrative Office at 305-895-9840.

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