Monticello, one of Arkansas’ first two cities to receive this designation, will join 257 communities around the country to commit to a focus of the importance of play not only on the playground but across the community.
“There's a great deal of research that confirms that helping kids engage in play contributes to their success in school and beyond, said Mayor Zack Tucker. “As the world has changed, children face numerous obstacles and distractions that take away from their opportunity and ability to play.”
Communities across the country are creating innovative ways to bring back play and attract residents through family friendly activities. Interactive sidewalk art, designated play spaces on trails and the transformation of schoolyards into active play areas are just a few examples of how cities are becoming more playful.
“Navigating social norms on the playground, learning to make new friends, or negotiating the rules of a game can foster skills that will allow our youth to succeed later in life, continues Mayor Tucker. “All of which are ones that are essential in building cooperation with others and awareness beyond one’s own self; some of life’s greatest assets.”
“We are thrilled to recognize these communities that have invested their time and efforts to put kids first,” said KaBOOM! CEO James Siegal. “Balanced and active play is crucial to the well-being of kids and the communities that they thrive in. By integrating play into cities, the leaders of Playful Cities USA are working to attract and retain the thousands of families that want homes in close proximity to safe places to play.”
To learn more about these cities, see the full list of the 257 communities named 2016 Playful City USA honorees, or to gather more information on the Playful City USA program, visit www.playfulcityusa.org. We also encourage you to take part in the conversation on #playability with these thought leaders on Twitter and Facebook.