Communities Increase Pay For Play

Matt Bevilacqua looks at the ways in which communities across America are attempting to shrink the "play deficit" afflicting the country's children.
May 4, 2012, 5am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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With the time children spend outside having fallen by half in the last thirty years, and only only one in five children living within walking distance of a park or playground, America's play deficit is having a profound impact on the physical and mental health of the country's kids. Bevilacqua spotlights one organization that is bringing attention to those communities taking steps to do something about it.

"'We have to turn the tide on the notion that play among children is a luxury,' said Mike Vietti, communications manager at the national non-profit KaBOOM!, which annually spotlights such initiatives. He emphasized that with play connected to rates of ADHD, childhood obesity and underperformance in the classroom, play ought to be treated as a necessity."

See KaBOOM's most recent list of the "2012 Playful City USA Communities" for examples of the types of projects, from mobile playgrounds to rails-to-trails initiatives, that are giving children more reasons to turn off the tv and venture outside.

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Published on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 in Next American City
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