Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Revitalize Calgary Community with New Playground

Playground to enhance family well-being

CALGARY, Oct. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - A dream is now a reality for children in the Penbrooke Meadows community as their drawings were turned into a new playground today. In less than eight hours, the play space was built at G.W. Skene School with the help of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, the school and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will eventually serve more than 28,000 children and their families in the community for years to come.

"A playground is an essential feature at an elementary school, providing children with a place to connect with one another outside the classroom," said Christopher Blair, Foresters Director of Sales, Western Canada. "The playground at G.W. Skene School provides the school's children with a place to play that can be enjoyed for years to come and is one of the ways Foresters helps to enrich the lives of our members, their families and their communities."

Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in June 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.

"Our school playground is used not only by our students during school hours, but is also a gathering place for families in the community," said G.W. Skene School Principal Don Braun. "The loss of our playground would have been a significant setback for the school community. We feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to provide a safe play place for our school community."

Thanks to the work of Foresters, G.W. Skene School 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, an Inclined Cliff Hanger and Swings.

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 G.W. Skene School/Calgary Board of Education
The Calgary Board of Education understands that each student is unique. Students realize their potential when they are taught the way they learn best. Each of our 110,000 students is supported by our system. The CBE has the capacity to lead in education while honouring each student's gifts. The result is a rich and dynamic learning experience that enables lifelong learning. G. W. Skene School is a vibrant learning community located in the southeast Calgary community of Penbrooke Meadows. At G.W. Skene we have an amazing staff and highly capable students. We believe education is a journey and that staff and students are on this journey together. We believe that our students are capable of not only acquiring information, but developing thoughts and ideas to solve complex problems. It is our dream that every student realize their potential as learners.

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

For further information:

Brandy Yee, G.W. Skene School, 403-777-8150 x 2223, bjyee@cbe.ab.ca
Teresa Pavlin, Foresters, 800-461-8431, ext. 4763, tpavlin@foresters.com
Mike Vietti, KaBOOM!, 785-320-2137, mvietti@kaboom.org

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