Play 4 ALL Healing Communities Through Play - Charlotte, NC
Rebuilding Community Trust One
Playground at a Time
On Wednesday, March 29, 2017 county
residents, youth and local leaders joined Mecklenburg County Park and
Recreation, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Metro Division, and
Cunningham Recreation for the second Healing Communities Through Play™ playground
build at Druid Hills Park in Charlotte, NC. More than 100 volunteers worked
together; police officers, youth and residents side by side, to build a playground.
Healing Communities Through Play™ is a new initiative that hopes to rebuild community trust and relations between local residents and law enforcement officers through building a playground. The program provides opportunities for police officers, youth, local residents and leaders to interact, communicate, get to know one another and focus on our commonalities rather than our differences.
“It’s a small idea, but one that can hopefully change negative perceptions and have a positive impact on our local communities,” says Officer Chelsea Kidder with the CMPD.
Late September 2016, Play 4 ALL, an extension of Cunningham Recreation, Healing Communities Through Play™ pilot project was done in Ferguson, MO. The City of Ferguson leadership including Mayor and Police Chief, St. Louis area Fraternal Order of Police, Ferguson Parks and Recreation Department, community youth and local residents all came together in a cooperative effort to build a playground, and bring the power of play to the Ferguson Community Center.
“Our Healing Communities Through
Play™ initiative is a small step in the right direction. These Healing
Communities playground build projects are just one way of helping rebuild
community relations and trust, and hopefully have a positive impact on future
generations,” said Scott Cunningham of Cunningham Recreation.
Play is a great equalizer that
powerfully and neutrally reaches people. Play transcends boundaries and speaks
to our universal humanity. Regardless of people’s origin, race, socioeconomic
status or ability, play bridges presumed differences and fosters connections.
In a polarizing world, play brings people together. What is fractured can be
reassembled, stronger than before. It takes trust, goodwill, community service
and a common vision built upon mutual respect.
“We have a couple of other cities
working on Healing Communities Through Play™ projects, and we hope to see
these begin to take hold and pop up in numerous cities across the country,”
says Victoria Schmidt Babb, Director of Play 4 ALL. “It’s time to work together
for a common goal, and mend what is broken for the betterment of our
communities and our children.”
For more information on how you can
bring this initiative to your city to foster healing and reconnect your
community, please call us at 800.438.2780 ext. 139 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let the healing begin.