More than 300 volunteers from Delta and parents, teachers and staff from KIPP Vision Primary School, as well as local community members, came together on Saturday to build Delta's 20th KaBOOM! playground as part of Hands On Atlanta Day.
"Giving back – investing in the communities in which we live – is a core Delta value," said Peter Carter, Delta's Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, who volunteered along with his wife Theresa. "If you walk through this work site, it just burns bright! Everybody has a smile on their face, they're proud to be a Delta employee and they're proud to be partnering with the parents and kids of this school. You can't really study hard if you don't have the chance to play hard, and this playground is going to give these kids a chance to rest their brain and get out there during recess and just have a great time."
The new 2,500 square foot playground will offer a safe and accessible place to play for more than 500 scholars at KIPP Vision Primary School, which is one of nine KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools and part of the south cluster of Atlanta Public Schools. In addition, the playground will be accessible to kids in the local east Atlanta community, which will impact thousands of kids for years to come. "Delta is the kind of partner that every organization like ours needs. We couldn't do it without Delta!" said Kinnari Patel-Smyth, Executive Director of KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools.
KIPP Vision Primary students were engaged from the initial planning of the project, tasked with drawing designs for their ideal playground at a Design Day held in August. The new playground is exclusively designed from the students' drawings and in addition to assembling the brightly colored playground in just six hours, volunteers also completed side projects, which included painting and striping an outdoor basketball area, creating an outdoor classroom and building an outdoor stage, as well as benches and planters.
The energy level kicked off on a high note with a surprise guest appearance from Atlanta-based music artist Silento, who wrote the song "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)," which is the traditional warm up dance for Delta's KaBOOM! builds. Music is a key part of keeping the volunteers pumped up and engaged together to complete all the work in just one day. Also on hand for the kickoff was Dr. Meria Carstarphen, Superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, a new Delta partner. Dr. Carstarphen thanked President Glen Hauenstein for the APS partnership and was thrilled that so many Delta employees volunteered to build the KaBOOM! playground for KIPP Vision on Hands on Atlanta Day.
At the ribbon cutting, KIPP Vision Primary principal Kristi Reaves and her team were surprised with a check for $20,000, which will assist KIPP Vision with long-term maintenance of the playground and support the programs that the school provides its scholars. In addition, representatives from Delta, KIPP and the local community cut the ribbon to dedicate the new playground including Ceasar Mitchell, Atlanta City Council President, and Jay Cranman, President and CEO of Hands On Atlanta.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve, filled with balanced and active play so they can thrive.
This is the fourth playground Delta has built in Atlanta and the 20th playground overall built through its partnership with KaBOOM! which began in 2013.