Tampa Named Playful City USA Community

The City of Tampa has been named a 2012 Playful City USA community for its efforts to increase play opportunities for children and creating actions plans to increase the quantity and quality of play in the community.

Tampa is among 213 cities and towns recognized nationally by the national non-profit organization KaBOOM!, which is dedicated to saving play for children and helping local governments address the play deficit that exists for most children.

KaBOOM! selected Tampa for its outstanding dedication to play. Tampa and the School Board of Hillsborough County established a cooperative joint use agreement to provide both parties with access to additional facilities for school and recreational use. The agreement is instrumental in providing programs and opportunities for new programs without increasing the cost for additional facilities.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, play is critical to healthy brain development. It allows children to use their creativity while simultaneously developing imagination, dexterity and physical, cognitive and emotional strength. Yet today's children spend less time playing outside than any previous generation in part because only 1-in-5 live within walking distance of a park or playground. The resulting play deficit is having profound consequences for kids physically, socially and academically.

As one of the 213 Playful City USA communities selected, Tampa is now eligible for a $15,000, $20,000 or $30,000 grants via "Let's Play," a community partnership led by the Dr. Pepper-Snapple Group, to get kids and families active nationwide.

The Playful City USA program, which was created by KaBOOM! in 2007, is supported by the Humana Foundation. Through work with mayors, city council members, parks and recreation departments, school districts and community leaders to institute programs, resources and activities that benefit children.

Presented by The Humana Foundation, Playful City USA is a national program advocating for local policies that increase play opportunities for children and is a key platform in combating the play deficit. KaBOOM!, the national non-profit organization dedicated to saving play, created Playful City USA in 2007 to help local governments address the play deficit and it is through mayors, city council members, parks and recreation departments, school districts and community leaders that the program succeeds in benefitting children.

For more information about programs and activities offered by the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department, please visit us on the web.

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