More photos to come!
There will be an explosion of fun at St. Patrick School in McEwen and St. Mary Villa Child Development Center in Nashville, thanks to Ka-BOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play.
|Hundreds of volunteers helped build new playgrounds at St. Patrick School in McEwen and at St. Mary Villa Child Development Center at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Nashville. St. Patrick parish and school volunteers (above photo, from left) Leo James, Eddie Bozman, Justine Henderson and Jacob Rochelle put together a dome for the St. Patrick playground. Photo by Andy Telli|
Working with Ka-BOOM!, hundreds of volunteers and corporate sponsors helped build new playgrounds for the children at St. Patrick and St. Mary Villa. With 200 volunteers at each site, the playgrounds went up in about six hours on Friday, Oct. 28, at St. Patrick, and on Thursday, Oct. 27, at St. Vincent de Paul Church, where St. Mary Villa operates the child development center in the old parish school.
The sponsors of the St. Mary Villa build included the Nashville Predators, the Nashville Predators Foundation, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee, Delek US, MAPCO, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Jackson National Life Insurance Co., LP Building Products, NEW Power and Piedmont Natural Gas.
Volunteers from Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Hurricane Creek Free Will Baptist Church, the Humphreys County Sheriff’s Office, Waverly Central High School, and St. Patrick parish and school participated in the St. Patrick build.
Blue Cross/Blue Shield surprised Sister Mary Grace Watson, O.P., St. Patrick’s principal, with an additional $10,000 donation at the ribbon cutting for the playground at the end of the build day. “We are amazed at the generosity of all,” Sister Mary Grace said.
St. Patrick students started working toward a new playground two years ago, Sister Mary Grace said. The previous playground equipment was about 20 years old, she said. “We needed some safe equipment.”
The students started raising funds for the new playground with a bake sale that brought in about $100, Sister Mary Grace said. Eventually, St. Patrick reached out to Blue Cross/Blue Shield for a grant, and the officials there pointed Sister Mary Grace to Ka-BOOM!
The result is a new playground with $100,000 worth of commercial-grade equipment, Sister Mary Grace said.
St. Patrick’s students are excited about the new playground, Sister Mary Grace said. “It’s been beautiful to watch them watch the people work. They can see how much people love our school and how much they love them.”
Clarie Givens, executive director of St. Mary Villa Child Development Center, expressed similar excitement about the playground for the children in her day care.
“This is such a wonderful gift to our program and, of course, to our children from KaBOOM!, the Nashville Predators, and their many supporters,” said Givens. “The opportunities this new playground will provide through physical, mental, and social stimulation in so important for them as they develop for the next stages in their lives.”
“We especially appreciate the design development steps KaBOOM! took to include our children in the process,” she added. “They had so much fun coming up with ideas with Gnash, the Nashville Predators mascot.”