Over the last nine years, the collaboration has provided safe places for more than 200,000 children annually to engage their imaginations in active play
Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield® plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, announced the completion of its 100th playspace project with KaBOOM!®, a national nonprofit dedicated to saving play for America’s children. Since 2009, the organizations have given more than 200,000 children annually creative environments in which to enjoy heart-healthy exercise.
“Joining together with KaBOOM! and our communities, our employee volunteers and their families have shaped special places for children to explore, imagine and play,” said Joel Farran, senior vice president and chief brand officer, HCSC. “These playgrounds help children build strength, coordination, social skills and fond memories for a lifetime.”
“Kids cannot grow up healthy without the opportunity to do what kids do best – play. For the past nine years, Health Care Service Corporation has been a powerful force in making play the easy choice for kids and families,” said James Siegal, chief executive officer, KaBOOM!. “The 100 great, safe playspaces that we have created together are providing over 200,000 kids annually in under-resourced communities the opportunity to jump, swing and slide their way to a healthier and happier future. I’m thrilled to congratulate HCSC on this amazing milestone and to thank HCSC for its commitment to the health and well-being of kids in the communities it serves.”
The commemorative playspace build took place in New Mexico earlier this week at the APS Aztec Special Education Complex, a state-of-the-art facility that serves more than half of the state’s intensive special needs students from pre-kindergarten to age 22. The playspace will benefit the students developmentally, and the design is an Imagination PlaygroundTM, a collection of customized, oversized blue foam parts that students can build and rebuild, encouraging creativity, communication and collaboration in play.
Since 2009, HCSC and KaBOOM! have teamed up to build 68 playspaces, 29 of which include shade structures that were added to expand play access in hot temperatures and protect kids skin from the sun. The two organizations also developed 32 creative play sets, which include Imagination PlaygroundsTM and Rigamajigs, large-scale, wooden building kits that encourage STE(A)M learning by empowering children to think three dimensionally.
These projects are made possible through grants from HCSC’s Healthy Kids Healthy Families® initiative, part of its ongoing commitment to the health and well-being of children and families through focus areas that include nutrition, physical activity, disease prevention, disease management and supporting safe environments. The initiative also builds on the company’s Affordability CuresSM endeavor, a commitment of $1.5 billion over three years to accelerate its efforts to reduce health care costs for its members.
About Health Care Service Corporation
Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) is the largest customer-owned health insurance company in the United States. HCSC offers a wide variety of health and life insurance products and related services through its operating divisions and subsidiaries, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas and Dearborn National. The company employs more than 23,000 people and serves more than 16 million members. For more information, please visit hcsc.com, visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.
KaBOOM! is the 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, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.5 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters, visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom, or facebook.com/kaboom.