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We’re delighted to announce that south side Tucson’s Pueblo Gardens Pre K-8 School will soon see a major street transformation right outside their front door thanks to a grant from the KaBoom! Play Everywhere Challenge, a $1 million national competition that awards innovative ideas to create spontaneous play opportunities for kids and families. We’ve been honored to work with Pueblo Gardens School over the past two years and were inspired to find ways to fund enhancements along the streets surrounding the school to make it a safer and enjoyable place to bike and walk. Our proposal is one of 50 projects selected to be funded out of over 1,000 proposals from across the nation.
Menor Stravenue will see the addition of murals, street trees, enhanced crosswalks, creative play stations and more, to improve safety and increase physical activity and play for students and neighborhood residents.
Working closely with students and neighbors, the project activities are already underway with the project set to be completed by mid-December 2016.
Research shows play is vital to healthy brain development and is pivotal to how kids learn problem-solving, conflict resolution, and creativity–in other words, the skills they need to succeed as adults. Yet today, too many kids, especially those growing up in poverty, are missing out on opportunities for play because of families’ time pressures, the lure of screens, and a lack of safe places to go. Meanwhile, evidence shows missing out on play time puts kids at risk for challenges ranging from obesity to anxiety to trouble adjusting in school.
Seth Aleshire, Principal at Pueblo Gardens School sees the street transformation as an opportunity to build community as well as provide a better environment for his students around the school. “This grant will be a community service project that not only seeks to keep our students safe, but will bring the children and families together to be a part of the revitalization that this historic, hardworking, and incredibly resilient neighborhood has earned.”
Follow our progress on social media under the hashtag #PlayfulGardens. Meantime, save the date for Saturday, November 12th, when we’ll have a block-party-painting-party on site. If you’re interested in helping out that day, let us know by filling out the form below or email Vanessa@livingstreetsalliance.org — we’ll need lots of help!