Healing and happiness
San Antonio Spurs help build new kid-designed playground in Uvalde
Who is better equipped to design a playground than children themselves? This week, multiple organizations teamed together to help build a new play space at Uvalde C.I.S.D. Dual Language Academy.
The project included design input from the students themselves, as well as a collaborative effort from groups eager to foster healing and growth in Uvalde, including the San Antonio Spurs and their Sport for Healing Fund.
Launched in the wake of the May 2022 Uvalde tragedy, the Sport for Healing fund aims to provide long-term support for the Uvalde community by creating and investing in trauma and healing-centered care for youth and families.According to a release, the new playground at Uvalde C.I.S.D Dual Language Academy is the first major project funded by the organization.
The partnership also included KABOOM!, a non-profit nationwide organization whose mission is to help build community playgrounds across the country and end playspace inequity.
"Throughout the history of our organization, our work has been rooted in the healing power of play," shared Lysa Ratliff, CEO of KABOOM! via release. "As we continue to partner with Uvalde in bold, new ways, we hope that KABOOM! can play a small role in supporting the community as they continue to heal and create amazing places for the kids to play, learn, and just be happy and healthy kids.”
Other organizations that assisted with the Uvalde playground project included the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, The Community Foundation Uvalde Forever Fund, and Bank of America. The playground itself was built by a group of 150 dedicated volunteers.
The Uvalde C.I.S.D Dual Language Academy playground is just the beginning: The city of Uvalde has partnered with KABOOM! and their 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity. The five-year nationwide plan includes a plan to build 10 playgrounds in Uvalde, of and this is the third playground space built in Uvalde through the KABOOM! partnership.
Coach Norma Jean Sandoval, a dedicated Uvalde C.I.S.D employee for over 20 years best summed up why the playground project was so important: "Playgrounds are where nothing else matters. Kids can play freely and laugh together outside of a structured classroom environment. This playground will allow them some much needed fun and relaxation from what’s happening in the world around them."