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August 26, 2004

Sprint and KaBOOM! Bring Safe, Fun Playgrounds to Three Kansas City-Area Schools

From: Sprint - Aug 26, 2004

Nearly 700 Sprint employees and volunteers build playgrounds designed by children

Media Contacts:
Jennifer Bosshardt, 816-914-5641

Sarah Pinsky, 312-822-5871

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — August 26, 2004

It’s play time! Nearly 700 Sprint volunteers will roll up their sleeves and spend this Saturday building three Kansas City-area playgrounds, all in the name of fun and safe play.

Led by experts from KaBOOM!, a not-for-profit organization that specializes in building safe and accessible playgrounds, Sprint employees and school volunteers will work side-by-side to build the three outdoor play areas in one day. By the end of the day on Aug. 28, the Kansas State School for the Deaf in Olathe, Kan.; Kiddie Kollege in Kansas City, Kan.; and Scuola Vita Nuova Charter School in Kansas City, Mo., will all have new playgrounds for their students.

Kansas State School for the Deaf
450 E. Park Street, Olathe, Kan.
The Kansas State School for the Deaf (KSD) is the oldest state educational institution in the State of Kansas, providing schooling and training for deaf or hard-of-hearing children and young adults. Currently, young children at KSD have a grass and gravel play area with a limited number of playground options. The emphasis of the playground build at KSD is to bring both tactile and visual stimulation to the students including painting a mural on a barren cement wall that partially encompasses the play area.

Kiddie Kollege
2319 Maxine Williams Drive, Kansas City, Kan.
Founded in the 1950s, Kiddie Kollege provides youth, from 12 months to 8 years old, in the African-American community and the inner city of Wyandotte County, Kan., with a safe and nurturing place to gain early education, develop public speaking and social skills, and accelerate classroom learning. Currently, there is minimal space for Kiddie Kollege’s 90 students to play outdoors, so the new playground will be built across the street from the neighborhood school.

Scuola Vita Nuova Charter School
544 Wabash Ave., Kansas City, Mo.
In 1999, Scuola Vita Nuova opened as a cultural arts charter school on the campus of the Bisceglia Italian Cultural Center in Kansas City, Mo. The school offers its diverse, low-income student population opportunities to study different languages and cultures in addition to teaching traditional K-8 curriculum. With a dirt foundation adorned with gravel, trash, a rusted metal slide and a towering tree, the playground at Scuola Vita Nuova is neither fun nor safe. The new playground will revitalize the corner lot and provide students at Scuola Vita Nuova a safe place to play and learn outdoors.

At the end of the one-day builds, children will be surprised to find a colorful combination of swings, slides and lots of other new play equipment. And the areas might look familiar to the children – they were the designers. At a “Design Day” in late June, students from each school drew crayon pictures of their dream playgrounds. These ideas were then incorporated into each the design of each play space.

“Having safe, accessible places to play is essential to the development of children,” said Ralph Reid, director – Corporate Relations, Sprint. “Playgrounds are one of the first places where kids exercise their social interaction and leadership skills. Sprint is proud to help provide this valuable, outside-the-classroom educational opportunity for our children.”

The kickoff for the playground builds will start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m. with ribbon- cutting ceremonies led by Sprint executives, KaBOOM! project managers and school leaders. Local community leaders, students and parents will also be in attendance. Media is invited to attend any of the Kansas City-area build locations.

Bringing safe, fun play areas to Kansas City supports Sprint’s announcement earlier this year to renew its commitment to the region, including building youth leadership and social skills and supporting student achievement and family engagement in youth education.

Since 2001, Sprint has been a national sponsor of KaBOOM!, contributing approximately $1 million and building 15 playgrounds in various communities across the country. This summer, Sprint delivered 100 red balls to the 15 existing playgrounds and donated $1,000 to the community organizations where the playgrounds were built.

About Sprint
Sprint is a global integrated communications provider serving more than 26 million customers in over 100 countries. With more than $26 billion in annual revenues in 2003, Sprint is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying state-of-the-art network technologies, including the United States' first nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network and an award-winning Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint provides local communications services in 39 states and the District of Columbia and operates the largest 100-percent digital, nationwide PCS wireless network in the United States. For more information, visit

About KaBOOM!
Since 1995, KaBOOM! has been motivating communities nationwide to create healthy play opportunities for young people. KaBOOM! works with businesses, foundations, civic groups and individuals to lead volunteer-driven, community-build playground and skatepark projects; seed change in communities through training programs, challenge grants, publications and a free Playground Planner™ service; and advocate for young peoples’ right to play. KaBOOM! has created more than 600 new playgrounds and improved more than 1,300 others. In addition, ESKAL8, the national skatepark program powered by KaBOOM!, was introduced in 2003 to meet the growing demand for places for young people to safely skateboard, BMX bike and in-line skate. A model of fiscal efficiency, KaBOOM! was named one of Fast Company’s first-ever Social Capitalist Award winners in 2003 and one of America’s 100 Best Charities by Worth magazine in 2002. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago, Atlanta and Redwood City, Calif. For more information, visit or

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