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February 29, 2016

Volunteers team up to build Kissimmee community playground

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 1, 2016) - Today, more than 200 volunteers from American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the City of Kissimmee, Community Vision and Central Avenue Elementary School along with organizers from KaBOOM! and Kissimmee residents teamed up to build a new community playground at Central Avenue Elementary. 

Designed in December when children from the neighborhood put crayons to paper to draw their dream playground, the new play space includes the Trippple Racer Slide, Ribbon Climber, Babble-On and will bring more than 2,678 kids in Kissimmee one step closer to having the childhood they deserve.
“I am so pleased that our school community will benefit greatly from the Safe and Accessible Playground,” said Trenisha Simmons, principal of Central Avenue Elementary. “Our children will have the opportunity for more physical activity, and parents will be able to spend quality time with their children in a safe environment.”
As part of the construction, volunteers assembled the playground from start to finish in less than six hours. They mixed and poured thousands of pounds of concrete and moved enough safety surfacing to cover more than nine NBA-sized basketball courts.
The playground is the 17th built by AAOS and KaBOOM!, and is an opportunity for the orthopaedic community to give back to the communities they serve to promote and protect a child’s active play at school and in the community.
“Active play can help improve a child’s balance, flexibility and strength, and it’s an integral component that helps them build strong bones for life. Play helps keep kids in motion and it minimizes their chances of developing obesity, and bone and joint health issues,” says orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Gerald R. Williams Jr., MD, incoming president of the AAOS.
Since 2000, the AAOS has sponsored a one-day volunteer build to kick-off its Annual Meeting, leaving behind a legacy of safe and accessible playgrounds to the Annual Meeting’s host cities so that children with and without disabilities can play safely together. The 2016 Annual Meeting will be held at the Orange County Convention Center during March 1-5. This build will be the Academy’s second Safe and Accessible Playground build in the Orlando area.
America’s kids are playing less than any previous generation. Only one in four adolescents get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity or active play per day, with the number of younger kids only slightly higher. Because of this, they are increasingly unhappy, unhealthy and falling behind: one in three kids is obese or overweight. KaBOOM! believes that the well-being of society begins with the well-being of children. This is why we’re such big advocates of balanced and active play, which is essential—and elemental—to enable children to thrive.
Community Vision
Community Vision has a mission of bringing people and resources together to achieve the vision established by the citizenry utilizing a collective impact model.  The organization’s focus areas are:
  • Creating a Leader-full community at all levels
  • Encouraging volunteerism and connectivity
  • Eliminating poverty
  • Establishing a healthy community
The organization surveys close to 1,000 residents annually to make sure they have the finger on the pulse of community need in order to develop collaborative partnerships to address these needs creatively, resourcefully and effectively.  Community Vision recently celebrated their 20th anniversary of serving Osceola County and Central Florida. For more information about Community Vision, please visit
City of Kissimmee
Kissimmee is a community of neighborhoods for families, making it a great place to visit, but an even better place to call home. With an outstanding quality of life, Kissimmee residents have access to an impressive education system, a revitalized and thriving downtown district, affordable housing, and a high level of municipal services.  From the City's wide range of parks and recreational activities to the theme parks, eco-tourism and world class fishing, the City of Kissimmee received the All-America City designation in 2008.  
American Academy of Orthopaedic (AAOS)
With more than 39,000 members, AAOS is the world’s largest membership organization of orthopaedic surgeons—medical doctors with extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment, both surgically and non-surgically, of the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, muscles and nerves. Orthopaedic surgeons and the Academy are the authoritative sources of information on musculoskeletal conditions, treatments and related issues. Our members help to restore mobility and reduce pain so patients can get back to work and live healthy, independent and productive lives. To learn more about patients who have kept life moving thanks to their orthopaedic care, visit For bone and joint health news, stats, facts, images and spokesperson interview requests, visit Also, follow us on and Follow build day progress and view day-of social media updates and photos using hashtag #WhyIBuild.
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 16,300 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.1 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 or join the conversation at or
Kayee Ip
phone: 847-384-4035
Lauren Pearson Riley
phone: 847-384-4031
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