Gov. Bush and Mayor Diaz Break Ground for CVS All Kids Can Boundless(TM)

Friday, August 18, 2006

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The CVS/pharmacy Charitable Trust and CVS/pharmacy, in partnership with Governor Jeb Bush and Mayor Manny Diaz, today held a groundbreaking ceremony for one of eight CVS All Kids Can Boundless(TM) playgrounds to be built across Florida.

The groundbreaking, held at Jorge Mas Canosa (Riverside) Park, marked the first city park in Miami to receive a Boundless(TM) playground, giving local children of all abilities a place to play and learn together. CVS/pharmacy's dedication to making play spaces universally accessible to children of all abilities is part of CVS All Kids Can(TM), a five-year, $25 million commitment by the CVS/pharmacy Charitable Trust and CVS/pharmacy to support children with disabilities. As part of this program, the CVS/pharmacy Charitable Trust has earmarked $950,000 for the construction of Boundless(TM) playgrounds in Florida.

"CVS/pharmacy has a long history of giving back to the communities in which we serve by supporting children of all abilities," said David Rickard, Executive Vice President of CVS/pharmacy. "With CVS All Kids Can, we are supporting a program that offers children with disabilities a chance to reach their greatest potential by focusing on their abilities and developing essential skills for life."

CVS All Kids Can raises awareness in schools and in local communities about the importance of inclusion. Among its key programs, CVS All Kids Can supports barrier-free playgrounds so children of all abilities can play side-by-side and provides medical rehabilitation and related services to children with disabilities. In addition to its work with Boundless Playgrounds(R), CVS/pharmacy and its more than 170,000 employees help children with disabilities learn, play and succeed through partnerships with other leading national nonprofits, such as Easter Seals, and local organizations across the country.

CVS/pharmacy has placed a high priority on building Boundless(TM) playgrounds across Florida, tying into Governor Bush's Florida Boundless Playgrounds Initiative to construct 50 Boundless(TM) playgrounds across the state.

"We're proud to work with CVS in an effort to achieve our goal of 50 Boundless(TM) playgrounds, which will offer Florida's children of all abilities an environment in which they can play and learn together," said Gov. Bush.

Ten percent of American children have a disability that prevents them from enjoying traditional playgrounds with their peers. In Florida alone, nearly 420,000 children have a disability that requires them to receive special education services from the U.S. Department of Education; this is 9.3% of children in Florida vs. 7.8% nationally.

"At Boundless Playgrounds, we strive to create a world where children of all abilities can experience independent, self-directed play at their highest level of ability," explained Amy Jaffe Barzach, Executive Director/Co-founder of Boundless Playgrounds. "With the help of the CVS/pharmacy Charitable Trust and CVS/pharmacy, thousands of children will be able to experience the joy of playing at eight Boundless(TM) playgrounds across Florida. All children, regardless of ability, can climb to the highest play deck to feel like king or queen of the world."

The largest retail pharmacy chain in the United States, CVS/pharmacy has more than 15,000 employees in Florida and operates 660 stores and two distribution centers in the state.

About The National Center for Boundless Playgrounds(R)

The National Center for Boundless Playgrounds is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides leadership to help communities create extraordinary playgrounds where all children, with and without disabilities, can develop essential life skills as they learn together through play. There are now 100 Boundless(TM) playgrounds in 21 states and Canada and dozens more are currently in development. Boundless Playgrounds, based in Connecticut, was founded in 1997 by a passionate team of parents and professionals. For more information, visit http://www.boundlessplaygrounds.org.