Belvidere Family YMCA to Unveil Indoor "Imagination Playground"
State Senator Dave Syverson Makes Playtime A Priority In His District
Belvidere, IL — The children of Belvidere Family YMCA are playing in a whole new way since Senator Dave Syverson recommended they apply for a Healthy Kids, Healthy Families grant for indoor play equipment from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL). BCBSIL has partnered with KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to saving play, in seeking organizations looking for new and innovative equipment to increase physical activity in the children they serve.
Senator Syverson encouraged the Belvidere Family YMCA to apply for the Healthy Kids, Healthy Families grant, and nominated them as one of the locations from his district. The Belvidere YMCA was awarded a grant and received their playground equipment a few weeks ago. Senator Syverson will kick off the unveiling of the new Imagination Playground in a BoxTM at 3:30 PM on Friday, February 3, at 220 West Locust Street, Belvidere, IL.
With a focus on loose parts, Imagination PlaygroundTM offers a changing array of elements that allows children to constantly reconfigure their environment and to design their own course of play. Giant foam blocks, mats, wagons, fabric and crates overflow with creative potential for children to play, dream, build and explore endless possibilities. Learn more information about Imagination Playground in a BoxTM .
Jennifer Jacky, CEO of the Belvidere Family YMCA, says, "The children and staff at Belvidere love playing with the Imagination Playground in a Box. The children's creativity is amazing! The first day that the children had access to the Playground, within thirty minutes, many of the kids made a fort and while the remainder of the children had made a boat and a teeter totter."
Partnering with KaBOOM, BCBSIL facilitates building safe community playgrounds and helps spread the word about the importance of play to increase children's physical activity. The BCBSIL partnership with KaBOOM! supports Healthy Kids, Healthy Families, a three-year initiative designed to improve the health and wellness of at least one million children through community investments by Health Care Service Corporation and its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is dedicated to helping Illinois become a healthier place to live, work and most importantly, play! As part of our Healthy Kids, Healthy Families Initiative, Blue Cross spearheads, sponsors and participates in a number of activities that encourages kids to eat right and be healthy. In 2011, Blue Cross Illinois worked with KaBOOM! to build 3 more new playgrounds in our state, bringing our total number to 12 new playgrounds in just 2 years! Our goal is for our playground build efforts to increase physical activity for children and their families, and to be built in a safe environment.
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.