WOONSOCKET, R.I., July 6 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS All Kids Can, a program of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust and CVS/pharmacy, announced today a pledge of $1.1 million to Boundless Playgrounds as part of an ongoing commitment to making life easier for children with disabilities.
Three CVS Caremark Charitable Trust grants totaling $750,000 will fund construction and program services for major new Boundless(TM) playgrounds in Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles in 2008. In addition, the Trust will provide $290,000 for projects currently under development in a dozen communities to create playgrounds where children of all abilities can play together. Also, this summer, through the CVS "School's Out! Go Play!" scholarship program, 60 communities will receive a $1,000 grant for Go Play! Materials developed by Boundless Playgrounds, enabling playgrounds to be designed with all children in mind. Today's $1.1 million pledge is in addition to CVS All Kids Can's commitment in 2006 of $950,000 for the construction of eight Boundless(TM) playgrounds in Florida.
"We are thrilled to announce the next phase of our relationship with Boundless Playgrounds and to continue our goal of helping create environments where children of all abilities can play together," said Eileen Howard Dunn, Vice President Corporate Communications and Community Relations for CVS Caremark. "We are not only bringing signature CVS All Kids Can Boundless(TM) playgrounds to three major cities, but we are also supporting grassroots efforts by local community organizations to bring inclusive playgrounds to their neighborhoods."
Boundless(TM) Playgrounds Coming to Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles
The Boundless(TM) playground projects in Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles will each receive $250,000. The funds will be used for the purchase of playground equipment and universally accessible surfacing to allow children who use support equipment like wheelchairs or walkers to be in the middle of the fun. The funds will also provide for program management. CVS/pharmacy and Boundless Playgrounds are working closely with Parks and Recreation Departments in each city, and reaching out to the community to determine the unique needs of each neighborhood and its children.
Core attributes of a Boundless(TM) playground are the ability for every child to reach the highest play deck, play structures configured to support children's development, universally accessible pathways and surfacing, cozy spots where everyone can gather, equipment like swings and bouncers with back support, elevated sand tables and activity panels where children of all abilities can play together, and sensory-rich activities to encourage imaginary play.
"The design of Boundless(TM) playgrounds allows all children, regardless of ability, to experience independent, self-directed play," said Amy Jaffe Barzach, Executive Director/Co-founder of Boundless Playgrounds. "This contribution by CVS Caremark will create an opportunity for thousands of children to play together in an inclusive environment."
Making a Local Impact and Engaging Associates to Build a Boundless(TM) Playground
The $1.1 million commitment to Boundless Playgrounds includes $290,000 earmarked for playground projects underway. CVS/pharmacy associates are involved in the selection of the projects to receive the grants, and will support the projects with volunteer hours and additional fundraising. Grants will range from $10,000-$40,000. The goal is to not only provide financial support to grassroots playground projects, but to also engage associates in the playground building process while making a difference in their community.
Helping Communities Help Themselves with the Go Play! Scholarship Program
To help Boundless Playgrounds achieve its goal of initiating the building of 100 Boundless(TM) playgrounds in 2007, CVS Caremark Charitable Trust is offering the "School's Out! Go Play!" scholarship program, which will award $1,000 scholarships this summer to 60 community groups looking to build an inclusive playground. The scholarship will cover a portion of the fee for Boundless Playgrounds' Go Play! Materials which provide valuable information, tools and technical assistance essential for the development of a playground project which will take into account the needs of all children.
CVS All Kids Can and Boundless Playgrounds
CVS All Kids Can, a program of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust and CVS/pharmacy, is a five-year, $25 million commitment to support children with disabilities. The goals of CVS All Kids Can are to support children with disabilities by raising awareness in schools and in local communities about the importance of inclusion, creating greater opportunities for physical activity and play, and providing access to medical rehabilitation and related services. CVS/pharmacy and its more than 170,000 employees plan to help children with disabilities learn, play and succeed through partnerships with leading local and national nonprofit organizations such as Easter Seals and many others across the country. For more information, visit www.cvsallkidscan.com.
Boundless Playgrounds is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides leadership to help communities create extraordinary playgrounds where children, with and without disabilities, can develop essential skills for life as they learn together through play. More than 100 Boundless(TM) playgrounds are now open in over 20 states, the District of Columbia and Canada and dozens more are currently under development. Boundless Playgrounds, based in Connecticut, was founded in 1997 by a passionate team of parents and professionals. For more information, visit www.boundlessplaygrounds.org.