Addressing playspace inequity: volunteers build brand new playground in Stone Mountain
The playground replaces a dated playscape at Leila Mason Park
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The morning rain did not stop volunteers from gathering in Stone Mountain to build a new playground that will touch so many lives in the community surrounding Leila Mason Park.
Joshua Johnson remembers all too well, the joy of running around on a playground.
“As soon as my grandma opened the van, we run into the park or run into the backyard,” he said.
He wants to bring that same experience and joy to kids in his own community, and metro Atlanta.
“I want to be a kid again, and I want to see other kids be kids,” said Johnson.
He was one of the several volunteers at Leila Mason Park, building a brand-new playground. The city said there was one there before, but it was dated. They needed to tear it down and start from scratch.
“We wanted to make sure that the kids had a safe playground,” said Shawn Edmondson, assistant city manager.
The volunteers got to work early in the rain as the project was due to be unveiled in the afternoon.
Konshela Hayes said the benefits of getting the kids outside are priceless. She listed some of the things kids learn just by playing.
“Getting kids off of iPads and into nature, get to sports, teamwork, collaboration, all the skills we use in the real world,” she said.
Stone Mountain partnered with United Healthcare and Kaboom to fund the six-figure project. They said too many children, especially children of color, do not have good spaces to just be kids and learn life skills.
“Their health, work with other people, learn how to make friends, learn the differences between people because communities are different,” said Hayes, on what kids learn and how they benefit from playgrounds.
According to Kaboom, this is a nationwide effort to end playspace inequity and bring smiles to all kids, no matter where they live.
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