For Immediate Release
Designed by the children from the community, the playground will provide a safe place for thousands of children to play in Baltimore City
BALTIMORE (Oct. 29, 2014) – Baltimore City children have a new, safe playground to play on, thanks to an impressive, one-day playground build at the Monarch Academy. More than 200 volunteers from Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), Monarch Academy, The Children’s Guild, KaBOOM! and the local community came together today to build a playground in one day – from the ground up. The second playground build with BGE and KaBOOM!, this play area was designed by children in the community and brought to life by local volunteers.
Planning for the playground began with a special ‘design day’ event held in September when local children and community leaders met with organizers from KaBOOM!, BGE, Monarch Academy and The Children’s Guild to design their dream playground. The children's drawings were then used to create the final design. BGE supports KaBOOM! in promoting and protecting a child’s right to active play at home, at school and in the community.
Prior to today, the children of Monarch Academy, and in the local community, didn’t have access to a playground to stretch their legs and minds outside the classroom. The new playground will bring thousands of children in Baltimore one step closer to having the safe, active play they deserve. The playground is one of more than 160 playground builds KaBOOM! led across the country in 2014 in an effort to fulfill its vision of to bring balanced and active play into the lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America.
"Whether it’s through charitable giving or employee volunteer opportunities, BGE and our employees are committed to enhancing the communities we serve," said Calvin G. Butler Jr., chief executive officer, BGE. "Together with our customers, we team up with organizations, such as KaBOOM!, the Monarch Academy and The Children’s Guild, that work to improve the quality of life in the communities where our customers and employees live and work. In addition to our charitable sponsorship, we had nearly 115 employees that excitedly participated in the KaBOOM! playground build. At BGE, our top priority is the safety of customers, employees and their families and we are proud to be a part of an event that will provide a safe play area for the children of Baltimore City. We are excited to continue to team up with KaBOOM! in the future to build safe playgrounds for our customers and their children across our entire service area."
The tools the volunteers used for the build were provided through the Baltimore Community ToolBank, a nonprofit organization that provides an inventory of tools – shovels, rakes, drills and much more – for lending to charitable organizations to increase the impact of their mission-related efforts in the community. For just three cents on the dollar per week, nonprofit organizations, faith-based and educational institutions, community groups, neighborhood associations and their volunteers now have access to the tools and equipment they need to renovate, renew and revitalize.
Today’s kids spend less time playing outside than any previous generation in part because only 1-in-5 children live within walking distance of a park or playground. This play deficit is having profound consequences for kids physically, socially and cognitively. Children need a place to play every day in order to be active and healthy, something KaBOOM! has been committed to since 1996.
A playground is more than a playground. It’s a brain-expander, friend-maker, and muscle-builder. Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a productive adult. It can transform children from sedentary, bored and solitary to physically, mentally and socially active. KaBOOM! works to bring balanced and active play into the daily lives of all children, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. We do this by creating great places to play, inspiring communities to promote and support play and driving the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives (#playmatters).
As part of its commitment to enhancing the communities it serves throughout central Maryland, BGE supports nonprofit organizations through funding and volunteer efforts on programs that help deliver a measurable impact in the areas of education, environment, community development, and arts and culture. Together with its customers, BGE actively and enthusiastically teams up with organizations that work to improve the quality of life in the communities where both BGE customers and employees live and work. Since its founding nearly 200 years ago, BGE has played an integral role in working to address economic development, public safety, civic issues and other initiatives that help improve the quality of life in central Maryland.
BGE’s corporate citizenship aligns with that of its parent company, Exelon Corporation. As part of Exelon’s merger in March 2012, Exelon and its subsidiaries have committed to maintain charitable giving of an average of $7 million per year in Maryland, including BGE’s service area, for the next 10 years.
To see photos from the event, visit BGE’s Flickr site at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mybge.
For more information on BGE’s commitment to charitable giving and dedicated employee volunteers, visit bge.com/ourcommitments.
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Monarch Academy Public Charter School Baltimore (www.monarchacademy.org/baltimore) is a co-educational public charter school operated by The Children’s Guild serving students from kindergarten through eighth grade in Baltimore City. Monarch Academy provides students with an enriched, rigorous, hands-on, academic curriculum emphasizing project-based learning science, technology, engineering, fine arts, drama, music, and math.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,000 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 7.4 million children. 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 lives and communities. To learn why #playmatters: visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company
BGE, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 655,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,400 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with 2013 revenues of approximately $24.9 billion. Exelon and its subsidiaries have committed to maintain charitable giving of an average of $7 million per year in Maryland, including BGE’s service area, for the next 10 years. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.