Staff: Community volunteers are the backbone of the project, but the KaBOOM! staff play a key role, especially for the KaBOOM!-led builds.
- For KaBOOM!-led builds, an Outreach Coordinator, works to confirm community partners for KaBOOM!-led builds by identifying and readying the community for the community-build process and the definable project in a definable timeline. Once confirmed each community is assigned one Project Manager who facilitates the community-build process through in-person meetings (Design Day, and Preparation and Build Days) and phone conference calls (weekly throughout the planning process).
- For Do-It-Yourself Playgrounds, participants have access to KaBOOM! social networking where they can pose questions to the broader population, attend trainings facilitated by KaBOOM! staff, and engage in conversations with staff members via the online help desk.
Training: A series of 70+ free, online trainings are available on various topics designed to educate participants about the importance of play and help prepare them to lead a community-built playspace project. In addition, there is a print version of the “Roadmap” with guidance on implementing a successful community build. (See “Intervention Materials” for more details.)
The underlying principle behind online trainings at KaBOOM! is to meet participants at their level. KaBOOM! offers introductory trainings designed to provide a baseline of information for individuals just getting started as well as more detailed trainings that outline best practices in the field and offer more detailed information on implementing play based strategies at the community and national level.
Online trainings are broken out into five categories to help participants better determine which content best meets their current needs. The categories include:
- Building a Playspace: Designed for participants looking to build or update an existing playspace. Content here is focused on project management, playspace design, fundraising, and best practices to ensure the success of the project.
- Hot Topics in Play: Features our premiere live training events with guest experts from the field and academia.
- Playful City USA: Designed for people who are willing to champion the cause of play at the local level. Perhaps through speaking to the local PTA, City Council, or community group about the need for recess, playgrounds, or community recreation times.
- Videos: For participants who do not always have the time to attend a full training. This section features short but powerful videos that touch on a variety of play-related issues.
- Playmaker Interviews: With more than 16 years of experience, KaBOOM! has developed, collected and refined numerous best practices and tools to support playspaces. Participants will hear firsthand from BOOMers (KaBOOM staff members) play thought leaders and innovators who work with communities to support the ongoing creation of play opportunities.
Materials: There is a large variation in playground equipment costs depending on the numbers of children served, ages of children served, and the budget available to the entity building the playground. A community can install some swings and safety surfacing for less than $10,000 or they can build a huge destination playground with rubber surfacing, shade and enough equipment to engage hundreds of children at one time for $500,000 plus. Individuals are encouraged to work directly with vendors, landscape architects, and other local resources to determine site needs and pricing.
Funding: Playground projects require a large amount of funding. The amount of funding sought varies based on the size of the project, materials used, and the type of playground project. Individuals are again encouraged to work directly with vendors to determine how to create an individualized playspace while working within their predetermined budget.