YWCA Utah, DISCOVER and KABOOM! Unveil Kid-Designed Playground for Six-Building Campus.
Community joins forces with nonprofit to advance playspace equity in the heart of Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake City, UT (Thurs, May 19, 2022, 2 p.m.) – At an invited ribbon cutting, YWCA Utah in Salt Lake City is celebrating as the campus debuts a kid-designed playground. The months-long collaboration between YWCA Utah, DISCOVER and KABOOM! culminated this week as more than 120 volunteers installed the new playspace, which will serve close to 500 children annually in the early education center and family violence shelter with a high-quality, safe place to play that is close to where they live and learn.
The new playground was a collaborative effort by the YWCA community, including kids, who presented creative ideas for their dream playground during a design day in March. The new playground is inspired by those drawings and will provide hundreds of kids and parents served by YWCA Utah with a new place to get active, build social bonds, and gather as a community.
“Providing the children on our campus with safe and special places to learn, laugh, and grow is a top priority for our trauma-informed organization,” says YWCA Utah CEO Liz Owens. “Making intentionally designed playspace for children who have been impacted by family violence is one of the small ways we can shift their outlook on their lives, themselves, and the people around them.”
Play is essential to the physical, social, and emotional health of every child. However, historic disinvestment and exclusion rooted in systemic racism have denied generations of children equitable access to parks and playgrounds, disproportionately affecting communities of color. The new playground at YWCA Utah is one step closer in addressing play inequity and ensuring that every kid has the opportunity to experience the joys of childhood.
“Playgrounds are an iconic part of childhood. They’re not only where kids collect some of their best memories, but also where crucial skills are developed that nurture their physical, mental, and emotional well-being,” said Lysa Ratliff, CEO of KABOOM!. “KABOOM! is thrilled to work with our partners to bring to life the new playspace at YWCA Utah and ensure that kids have a place designed just for them, where they can play, learn, and unlock their greatest potential.”
DISCOVER has provided support for the new playground through its partnership with KABOOM!, furthering its commitment to ending playspace inequity. The two have a longstanding partnership and this event marks the 38thplayground built across the nation, and the third in the Utah area.
“At DISCOVER, we are passionate about supporting children and families in the community in which we live and work. We know providing safe learning environments and creative playspaces enrich the lives of children, and the impact of our work at YWCA Utah will be felt long after this playground is built,” said Rich Simon, Director of DISCOVER Personal Loans.
To ensure that playgrounds are able to open safely in every community, KABOOM! has issued important playground guidance that all communities, playground owner/operators and caregivers can follow. The guidance can be viewed or downloaded at kaboom.org/reopen.
About YWCA Utah
YWCA Utah is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. Since 1906, the organization has worked to advance the well-being of Utah women in key dimensions of their lives through direct programming, education, research, and advocacy. Today, YWCA Utah is the state’s oldest and largest provider of crisis shelter, transitional housing, family violence services, and supportive programs for people experiencing marginalization.
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a digital banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover card, America’s cash rewards pioneer, and offers private student loans, personal loans, home loans, checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit through its banking business. It operates the Discover Global Network comprised of Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation’s leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance around the world. For more information, visit www.discover.com/company.
KABOOM! is the national nonprofit committed to ending playspace inequity – the reality that quality places to play are not available to every child, especially in communities of color. Since 1996, KABOOM! has partnered with kids and communities to build or improve 17,000+ playspaces and ensure that nearly 12 million kids have equitable access to the crucial benefits and opportunities that playspaces offer. In 2022, KABOOM! launched the 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity, the $250 million plan to accelerate its mission in 25 high-priority locations over five years. Learn more at kaboom.org or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
YWCA Utah: Priscilla Rountree | 801-830-0319 | firstname.lastname@example.org
DISCOVER: Jason Wright | 801-530-9423 | email@example.com
KABOOM!: Jen Hallaman | 202-281-8563 | firstname.lastname@example.org