August 16, 2002 - Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Atlanta
Saturday, August 24, 2002 was a great day for the Injury Free Coalition For Kids-Atlanta site. On this sweltering day in August, 400 children were afforded the opportunity to have a safe, local playground that is critical to their social and physical development. The playground was built in the University Homes Community, a public housing facility that houses more than 400 children. The area around University Homes is virtually land locked; it is surrounded on all sides by the colleges that form the Atlanta University Center. There were no parks, playgrounds, or recreational areas within walking distance of this community. The lack of recreational areas, the socioeconomic status of the residents, and the high number of children created an environment in which children and parents had limited recreational and play options. The children and parents, were therefore, forced to create their own play space which was usually located in the streets surrounding the community which were frequented by heavy commuter traffic. Due to the demographics and the rate of death from injury among children ages 1-15, the University Homes Community demonstrated a dire need for a safe, contained play space for its residents.
Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Atlanta’s Safe Playgrounds Initiative works to prevent playground injuries through education, and builds and improves playground structures to create a safer play environment. Funded by a grant from The Allstate Foundation, the Little Hands project not only provides a specially designed “safe” playground that reduces the potential for injuries, it also includes on-going safety training and activities for residents of the complex. The Little Hands Playground was made possible through the cooperation and generosity of the Atlanta Housing Authority, which owns University Homes, and H.J. Russell & Company, which manages the property and provided site preparation.
Saturday August 24, 2002 served as the culminating event for IFCK-Atlanta’s Safe Playground Initiative. Beginning at 8:00am in the morning volunteers, community members, and children put on their gloves and sun screen and began to erect what is now the Little Hands Playground. The day was fought with festivities as local elected officials and community leaders attended the event to lend a helping hand. The playground will be officially dedicated at the annual Heritage Day Festival scheduled for Saturday, September 28, 2002.
Ana Everett, MPA
Hughes Spalding Children's Hospital
Department of Community Health
35 Jesse Hill Jr. Dr., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
O: 404-616-1403 F: 404-616-2326