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2014

Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Revitalize Saint Paul Community with New Playground

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Playground to enhance family well-being

SAINT PAUL, MN, Sept. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - A dream is now a reality for children in Saint Paul as their drawings were turned into a new playground today. In less than eight hours, the play space was built at the Heights Community School with the help of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, the Heights Community School PTA, Saint Paul Public Schools and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will eventually serve 23,000 children and their families in the community for years to come.

"Foresters believes in providing opportunities for families to spend quality time together," said Bruce Burak, Foresters National Sales Manager "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 May 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.

"The Heights Community School is a respectful community of learners dedicated to reaching our highest potential," said Jayne Ropella, Principal at the Heights Community School. "We work every day to build our strong community with focused instruction and critical partnerships that meet the academic and social needs of all students. This playground project has strengthened our community involvement. Our students and families living near our school will enjoy this play space for many years to come."

Thanks to the work of Foresters, the Heights Community School PTA, Saint Paul Public Schools and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 3,000 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a Slither Slide, Inclined Cliff Hanger and Rockblocks Climber.

A passionate advocate for family well-being, Foresters recently launched the Tech Timeout™ challenge, which encourages families to take a pledge to turn off all electronic devices for an hour a day for one week.  For more details, visit techtimeout.com.

About Saint Paul Public Schools

Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) is Minnesota's second largest school district with more than 39,000 students. Superintendent Valeria Silva began leading SPPS in 2010, following more than two decades as a teacher, principal and administrator. Highly trained and deeply dedicated staff, cutting-edge academic programs, and strong community support are among the district's hallmarks. Our student population is diverse, with students who speak more than 125 languages and dialects.

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 over one million 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.

Tech Timeout and the Tech Timeout logo are trademarks of The Independent Order of Foresters

About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. 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. 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 because children need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,300 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!: A Movement to Save Play, now out in paperback. 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 an office in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

SOURCE Foresters



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