Houston elementary students create one-of-a-kind playground

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playgroundHOUSTON, TX – In a city with no zoning laws, it is the children who get to plan the lay of the land, at least this one time.

“I’m a drawing a swing set, some flowers, a slide and another pool,” said 5-year-old Laila.

If asked, there’s no doubt these Francis Elementary School kids would be able to come up with creative solutions for the Astrodome. But this time they’re dealing with a more critical challenge: designing a dream playground.

“I drew a basketball court so you can play basketball,” explained 9-year-old Jada. “A swing, monkey bars… a slide,” added 5-year-old Jeremiah.

The school’s existing playground does not meet safety standards, so it can’t be used. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and Kaboom! — a non-profit dedicated to building playgrounds nationally — came into the picture to provide these young students with the opportunity to jump, climb, slide and grow healthy.

“We just heard from kids at the school about their dream playground,’ said Shelly Whittet, Project Manager with Kaboom! ‘And now we’re going to meet together with parents and community members to make a plan so that on November 16th we can build a playground here in six hours.”

Two hundred volunteers will bring their muscles, and probably a lot of yummy food, to make their children’s dreams come true.

“This is actually our 13th playground to sponsor and we couldn’t be more excited,” expressed Dr. Robert Morrow, Senior Medical Director of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.

OK, but guess who’s going to be even more excited?

“We’re extremely excited about the initiative,’ confessed Dana Stelly, Principal of Francis Elementary. ‘We know that our students need a playground and they haven’t had one that’s been in working order for a while.”

Way to go, folks! So, if this is how things work… Why don’t you kids start planning an Olympic village in Houston and help everybody else’s dream come true?