Chesnut gets a playground, KaBoom organizes project
By Andrew B. Adler for the Journal-Constitution
Published on: 09/20/07
While attending a DeKalb County school board meeting last year, Renate Herod first learned about the existence of an organization called KaBoom. Herod, who was Chesnut Charter Elementary School's PTA president at the time, made a beeline to her computer after returning home to garner more information about the national nonprofit organization. An organization founded in 1995, KaBoom builds playgrounds, ice rinks, skate parks and sports fields throughout the nation.
"Once I learned more about KaBoom, I immediately submitted a very detailed application in hopes that we would [be] chosen by KaBoom to build a new playground at our school." But as time passed and other schools were being selected by KaBoom representatives, Herod began to think her efforts had become a lost cause. That was until she received a phone call from a representative this summer from the Washington-based organization while on her way to Oklahoma for a well-deserved vacation. "It was very exciting to know that Chesnut Charter School had finally been selected by KaBoom," Herod said.
Starting early today, more than 100 volunteers from Chesnut Charter Elementary School, 150 volunteers from Home Depot, and organizers from KaBoom are scheduled to build a new 2,500-square-foot playground. The one-day project is made possible through a $47,200 grant from Home Depot, along with a $10,000 contribution from Chestnut Charter Elementary School.
The $47,200 grant is part of Home Depot's $25 million commitment to KaBoom to create and refurbish 1,000 play areas in 1,000 days. "By the end of 2007, we will have reached our goal of 1,000 play areas," said Caroline Counihan, Home Depot's community affairs manager. The ultimate design of Chesnut Charter Elementary School's playground, like others, will be the brainchild of the students themselves. A special "Design Day" was recently held by KaBoom in which students drew their dream playground. Components of each child's drawings are incorporated into the playground's final design.
Chesnut Charter Elementary School is located at 4576 N. Peachtree Road, Dunwoody. The DeKalb County school, with about 550 students currently enrolled in k-5, was established in 1968. During the 2000-2001 school year, Chesnut began operating as a charter school. Information: 678-676-7100. http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/chesnut/.
KaBoom's Web site is www.kaboom.org.