Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Revitalize Mount Rainier Community with New Playground

Playground to enhance family well-being

MOUNT RAINIER, MD, June 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - A dream is now a reality for children in Mount Rainier as their drawings were turned into a new playground today. In less than eight hours, the play space was built with the help of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, Thomas Stone Elementary School, Prince George's County Public Schools and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will serve more than 11,000 children and their families in the community for years to come.

"Foresters believes in providing opportunities for families to spend quality time together," said Kasia Czarski, Foresters Senior Vice President, Chief Membership and Marketing Officer. "A playground is an important piece for the revitalization of a community. Not only does it provide a first step towards keeping children healthy, but it's a safe, central location for the entire neighborhood to get together."

Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in April when local children and community leaders met with organizers from KaBOOM! and Foresters to design their dream playground. The children's drawings were then used to create the final playground design.

Since 2006, Foresters has invested over $7 million with KaBOOM! with almost 100 playgrounds built or planned across the U.S. and Canada. Over their 15 year lifespan, these playgrounds will provide more than 2.6 million children and their families with an opportunity to spend quality time together. Foresters is a KaBOOM! National Partner and a founding member of the KaBOOM! Leadership Circle - a group of organizations providing long-term guidance and support to KaBOOM! and its mission.

"What an exciting opportunity for the Mount Rainer community," said Board of Education Member Amber Waller. "The revitalization of the Thomas Stone playground will provide a safe environment for our students and families to spend quality time."

Thanks to the work of Foresters, Thomas Stone Elementary School, Prince George's County Public Schools and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 2,500 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a Triple Racer Slide, a Rockblocks Climbing Wall and a 360 Degree Spiral Slide.

About Thomas Stone Elementary School
Here at Thomas Stone Elementary School, we believe that a strong commitment to children is the key to helping students develop the skills and knowledge they need to become productive citizens and lifelong learners. Named after the Maryland Delegate who signed the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Stone has a long history of empowering its students to reach for their dreams. Our strong community ties and emphases on art, dance, diversity, and academics makes Thomas Stone feel not like a school, but like a family.

About Prince George's County Public Schools
Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS), one of the nation's 25 largest school districts, has 205 schools, approximately 125,000 students and nearly 18,000 employees. With an annual budget of $1.6 billion, the district serves a diverse student population from urban, suburban and rural communities. PGCPS is nationally recognized for its innovative programs and initiatives, including the expansion of Advanced Placement courses and partnerships with businesses and institutions of higher learning.

About Foresters
Foresters™ is a life insurance provider with a difference.  The fraternal benefit society, founded in 1874, supports family well-being through quality products, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with almost 950,000 members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.  For more information, visit foresters.com.

Foresters™ is the trade name and a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, 789 Don Mills Road, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9; its subsidiaries are licensed to use this mark.

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.

SOURCE Foresters



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