NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Titans running back David Cobb, punter Brett Kern, wide receiver, Tre McBride, offensive tackle Will Poehls and tight end Craig Stevens joined Mayor Karl Dean and over 150 community volunteers and leaders to support BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation in a ribbon cutting ceremony unveiling the new KaBOOM! playground at The Next Door's Freedom Recovery Community.
The playground is the sixth built by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation and KaBOOM! in promoting and protecting a children's right to active play at home, at school and in the community. The new playground provides a place where the children living at Freedom Recovery Community can be active and play safely.
The Titans joined Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and over 150 community volunteers and leaders to support the unveiling of the new KaBOOM! playground at The Next Door???s Freedom Recovery Community. (Photos: Amber Harding)
"This has been a fantastic event that we are so pleased to be a part of and partnering with KaBOOM! and the Titans," said John Maki, Vice President of Sales and Account Management for BlueCross BlueShield. "It's been amazing to watch this playground being built and our employees have gone above and beyond in volunteering their time to build the playground. It has exceeded all of our expectations. We thought it was a great concept and it's part of our mission to give back to our community."
America's kids are playing less than any previous generation. In part, this is because kids ages eight to 18 now spend almost half of their days in front of screens instead of engaging in active play. Only one in four children gets 60 minutes of physical activity or active play every day.
Play matters for all kids, because all the science affirms that play is critical to a child's overall health, development and well-being. Moreover, play can help tackle a number of urgent issues plaguing our society — especially those endemic among low-income communities.
Kids who have play as part of their school day, do better in school, become better team players and develop into more creative thinkers. They are also more likely to carry these skills into adulthood.
"The health and wellness of future generations is something that is very near and dear to this organization's heart," said Titans Director of Marketing Brad McClanahan. "Not only is it a huge initiative on the NFL level with the Play 60 program, but our ownership group has made it a top priority for our team on a local level as well. This playground will help keep children active for years to come and we are proud to have had a small part in the opening."
Titans mascot, T-Rac and cheerleaders Anne, Evony, Mariel and Monica also stopped by to show their support, which put big smiles on the children's faces.
The bottom line: Kids who play are happier, smarter, and more social — as are their communities! They stand a stronger chance of developing into happy, healthy, smart, successful adults than kids who do not.
About BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc.
The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc. (THF) was established in December 2003 as a 501(c) (3) foundation organized to promote the philanthropic mission of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee by awarding grants focused on high-impact initiatives across the state, which promote healthy lifestyle choices and help control health care costs for all Tennessee residents. THF, working with civic and economic partners, is dedicated to the support of research, innovative programs and creative approaches to improve the health and quality of life of Tennesseans for generations to come.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation' mission is dedicated to enhancing quality of life by awarding grants that improve health, public education and economic development for Tennesseans.
KaBOOM! Is a national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids the childhood they deserve. They work to bring balanced and active play into the daily lives of all children, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. They do this by creating great places to play, inspiring communities to promote and support play and driving the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives.
KaBOOM! has engaged over 200 cities to create family-friendly, play-filled communities. We've enlisted over 1 million volunteers to promote and advocate for play and successfully built or catalyzed 16,000 playgrounds in low-income communities across America. Our work has provided more than 7.4 million kids a great place to play.
This is why KaBOOM! is dedicated to giving all kids the play they deserve by bringing together parents, advocates, and Community and National Partners to ensure that kids have the opportunity to play every day, everywhere.
About The Next Door's Freedom Recovery Community
The Next Door's Freedom Recovery Community is permanent apartment living for women and their children. This community provides the opportunity to continue recovery services onsite within a supportive peer environment. The playground will also serve as a great space for women in our other programs to bond their children during visitation.