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February 24, 2016

200 Volunteers Improve Kissimmee Kids’ Lives & Futures with Play

Partners Join Forces to Create a New Playground at Central Avenue Elementary
Tuesday, March 1, 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Photo/Interview Opportunities Available

WHAT: More than 200 volunteers from American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) (@AAOS1), City of Kissimmee (@kissimmee_gov), Community Vision, Central Avenue Elementary (@osceolaschools), organizers from KaBOOM! (@kaboom) and the community will join forces on Tuesday, March 1, to give area kids the childhood they deserve by building a new playground at Central Avenue Elementary School. The design is based on children’s drawings created at a special design event in December.
WHEN: Tuesday, March 1
  8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.          Kick-off ceremony             
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.     Best viewing of playground construction             
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.         Final construction phase          
2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.         Ribbon-cutting ceremony
(Times approximate)
WHERE: Central Avenue Elementary School
500 W. Columbia Avenue
Kissimmee, FL 34741
WHO: Hundreds of community volunteers, children and parents from the City of Kissimmee and Central Avenue Elementary School, KaBOOM! staff members and hundreds of AAOS volunteers including orthopaedic surgeons, allied healthcare and industry partners.
WHY: The playground at Central Avenue Elementary is a joint-use facility through a partnership between the Osceola County School Board and the City of Kissimmee. Many of the apartment complexes surrounding the school do not have a playground for their young residents to enjoy or they have very small ones. The new KaBOOM! playground will allow children at the school and in the surrounding community to have a high quality recreation area.
The new playground will bring approximately 2,700 kids in Kissimmee one step closer to having the play-filled childhood they deserve. In building this playspace together, it will be easier for all kids to get balanced and active play and make Kissimmee more playable for children with and without disabilities.
Each year, more than 210,000 children in the United States sustain a playground injury requiring medical attention. Orthopaedic surgeons treat bone and joint injuries, and know first-hand the impact of playground-related accidents, but would rather help prevent injuries than treat them. The Academy is dedicated to creating Safe and Accessible Playgrounds where children—with and without disabilities—can play together safely. This playground will provide children opportunities to play, improve balance, flexibility and strength, and build strong bones for life.
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 (#WhyIBuild; #playmatters).
This will be the 17th playground built by AAOS in partnership with 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.
VISUALS: Before and after shots
Volunteers assembling, carrying, and installing brightly colored playground equipment
Volunteers moving more than 43,740 square feet of safety surfacing by hand
Ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the playground
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.
About KaBOOM!
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

City of Kissimmee: Arin Thrower, 407.301.5144,
Central Avenue Elementary: Dana Schafer, 407-870-4007,
AAOS: Kayee Ip, O: 847-384-4035, C: 312-543-3211,
KaBOOM!: Bruno Tager, 301-919-4482,
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