Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Encourage Quality Family Time by Building New Playground for Washington D.C. Children

Child-Designed Playground will Eventually Serve 6,000 Children and their Families

WASHINGTON, April 30 /CNW/ - Children in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington D.C. received a brand new playground today thanks to the effort of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, a life insurance provider committed to the well-being of families, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will serve 6,000 children and their families in the Petworth neighborhood for years to come.  Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in March 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.

"Foresters shares its financial strength with its members and communities where they live, such as Washington D.C.," said Kasia Czarski, Foresters Chief Membership and Marketing Officer. "Playgrounds are an ideal place for families to get to know other families and build strong communities.  This new playground at E.L. Haynes will provide opportunities for families to spend quality time together for years to come."

Foresters has invested over $3 million with KaBOOM! to build 36 playgrounds across North America since 2006. These playgrounds will eventually serve more than 575,000 children, providing them and their families with a place where they can play, learn and have fun together.

The playground at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School's Kansas Avenue Campus will provide 6,000 children and their families in the Petworth neighborhood with a great place to play and engage in healthy family time. In less than eight hours, the child-designed playground was built from scratch by hundreds of volunteers from Foresters, E.L. Haynes and the surrounding community. In addition, children and families spent the day playing games and participating in arts and crafts activities.

"E.L. Haynes is grateful to Foresters and KaBOOM! for their support of our playground project," said Jennifer C. Niles, E.L. Haynes Founder and Head of School. "The new playground will provide a much-needed and safe play space for our students and is central to the redevelopment of our Kansas Avenue Campus. This project has energized our community and we are all looking forward to a festive build day."

Thanks to the work of Foresters, E.L. Haynes and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 2,760 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as an Inclined Cliff Hanger, a Rockblocks Climbing Wall and a Vertical Adventure Tube.

About E.L. Haynes Public Charter School

E.L. Haynes Public Charter School demonstrates what a public school could, and should, be. The award-winning school was founded in 2004 and has a program based on nationally recognized best practices for advancing student achievement. E.L. Haynes' mission is that every student of every race, socioeconomic status, and home language will reach high levels of academic achievement and  be prepared to succeed at the college of his or her choice. E.L. Haynes is moving steadily toward achieving this mission; in 2010, 69% of students scored proficient or advanced in math on the DC-CAS and 68% scored proficient or advanced in reading, outperforming DCPS scores by nearly 2:1 in both categories. The school is proud to have made outstanding three-year gains of 39 percentage points in math and 27 percentage points in reading. In 2010-2011, E.L. Haynes serves more than 600 students in grades Pre-K through 8 and will grow, adding a grade each year, until it serves students in grades Pre-K through 12. E.L. Haynes is the first and only year-round public school in Washington, DC and is named for Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes, the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate in mathematics, a teacher in the District of Columbia's school system for 47 years, and the first woman to serve as President of the District of Columbia Board of Education. In April 2008, E.L. Haynes was chosen from DC's 56 charter schools as the winner of Fight for Children's first-ever Quality Schools Initiative Award. In 2008, 2009 and 2010, E.L. Haynes was named a Silver Award winning school in through New Leaders for New Schools' Effective Practice grant program, ranking as a top school among a consortium of more than 150 charter schools nationwide.  For more information, visit

About Foresters

Founded in 1874 as a fraternal benefit society, ForestersTM champions the well-being of families through quality life insurance, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities.  Foresters shares its financial strength with more than 835,000ˆ members in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Unity Life of Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Foresters, represents Foresters in Canada. For more information, please visit

ForestersTM is a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9.

ˆIncludes total number of UK Child Trust accounts

Unity Life of Canada, a Foresters company, is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Independent Order of Foresters

About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Because all children deserve to be active and healthy, KaBOOM! works to ensure that every child in America has a great place to play within walking distance. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together businesses and communities to construct more than 1,900 new places to play across North America. KaBOOM! also fights the Play Deficit with online tools that empower communities to join the movement to save play. The KaBOOM! website,, allows communities to self-organize and take action to support play on a both a local and national level.

SOURCE Foresters

For further information:


Yasmine Taylor-Hart, E.L. Haynes, 202-667-4446,

Ryan Jones, Foresters, 1-800-461-8431 x4096,

Mike Vietti, KaBOOM!, 785-320-2137,

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