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More than 220 volunteers from Delta, KaBOOM! and the east Detroit community came out this weekend to build a playground for the Timbuktu Academy, a charter school for children in kindergarten through 8th grade in Detroit. Saturday’s build marked the second Delta-built playground in the Detroit area.

The new playground, which includes swings, slides, a rock climbing wall and monkey bars, will offer a safe place to play for nearly 400 students at the Detroit school, as well as for other children in the community. Volunteers spent the day mixing concrete, shoveling mulch and assembling the new playground – which was finished in just one day.

“It means so much to us that a corporate sponsor like Delta could come out and give,” said Bernard Parker, CEO of Timbuktu Academy.  “They gave up their Saturday to come here and build something, and that means a lot – that really is a corporate sponsor being responsible in the community.”

In addition to the playground, volunteers also created an outside classroom, featuring benches, a chalkboard and a giant checker’s game, as well as an outdoor track. While the adults put the finishing touches on the playground, 50 kids from the community came out to the school to enjoy face painting, arts and crafts, games and a photo booth.

At the end of the day, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan wrapped up the project by speaking about the importance of providing the community with a safe and clean play space for students and thanked the sponsors for their efforts.

Delta also presented Timbuktu a surprise check for $10,000 to help with maintenance and other school expenses.

“On behalf Delta, I’m thrilled to be here. I came this morning, and just came back. I cannot believe what everybody here accomplished,” said Andrea Newman, Senior Vice President – Government Affairs.                                           

Saturday’s build marked Delta’s second playground built in the Detroit community and the airline’s  12th playground built in partnership with KaBOOM! Delta has also constructed playgrounds in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville and Seattle.

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. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,300 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.1 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives.

Timbuktu Academy is a free public charter school founded in 1997 to serve students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The school provides an African-centric education to children on Detroit’s East Side, a resource-lacking area of the city. The school provides a rigorous curriculum that is designed to facilitate critical thinking and promote technical literacy.

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