Fort Worth ISD

Volunteers Work to Provide Playspace Equity at North Texas Schools

Nonprofit Kaboom is working to build better play spaces for children

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We all know some schools have more resources than others. Parents buy houses and choose neighborhoods based on school performance. 

There's a lot to be said about a school by its playground, the place kids go to let out steam. Some are an outdoor oasis, while others are so uninspiring that children don't even bother.

That's something volunteers are working to change.

"What we're really hoping for is what we call play space equity throughout the district so that would mean every child that's learning in Fort Worth ISD would have play equipment suited to their needs," said Kathyn Lusk with the nonprofit group Kaboom.

Kaboom is working to build better playspaces for children. They've been at it for a while now, targeting schools whose playgrounds need a boost, like Western Hills Elementary in Fort Worth.

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"It needed a lot of love," school principal Andrew Johnson described their old and new play spaces. "There wasn't a challenging structure; it's kind of old, so this is like the Mercedes-Benz of playgrounds right now."

Johnson said students helped plan the playground and also came up with rules to respect the area.

While play is the focus, the space is also getting an outdoor classroom and garden.

"It's going to be on that side; it's going to have garden beds. We're going to start a garden club as well. We're planning an orchard. It's going to be an awesome outdoor space," Johnson said.

Parents and volunteers came out on a Saturday under the hot summer sun.

"They have gone through so much this year, they not only need this, they deserve it," said Kenna Oaks, who volunteers with her church at the school and has done so throughout the pandemic.

If you're interested in applying for a grant for your school, click here.

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