New Playground!

Thinking back to your childhood, did you ever realize how exciting it was to play on the playground at recess?  It was even more exciting to go to different places like recreation centers, schools, and community parks to find that each playground was different and had its own uniqueness. Although most playgrounds are different in structure and style, they all share some common characteristics.  They are common areas for children to play, build social skills and entice their imagination.

When Willow Branch Apartments were first built, the playground could accommodate only a small number of children.  As Star-C Programs began to grow, so did the Willow Branch Community. As a result, families with more children began moving in, and the small playground became overwhelmed with the daily play activities.  Our concerns for the play area to child ratio were resolved once Star-C learned that KaBOOM! and the CarMax foundation has awarded us a new playground.

The build of the playground was an intense, yet exciting project. One of the major days was Design Day, which occurred on March 26, 2018. The kids were asked to draw what their ideal playground would look like. The different drawings included wheel swings, slides and monkey bars. (Just to name a few.) Once they completed their drawings, they were asked to present which components on their playground were their favorites. The remainder of the day consisted of community leaders, parents of the children, KaBOOM! CarMax and Star-C Programs using the info the kids provided to choose equipment and amenities for the actual playground.

From there, the planning and decision-making phase consistent of weekly phone calls and in person meetings.  It was an extensive process that led up to build week in May.  On Tuesday, May 23, we had Prep Day. Prep Day consisted of a group of volunteers from CarMax, Star-C and KaBOOM!  During the day, we received and organized parts, playground equipment and other supplies.  We cut wood for side projects and did some pre-construction work to prep for the actual build.  Prep day set the stage for Thursday, May 23, the actual Build Day, where over 200 volunteers from Star-C, CarMax and KaBOOM! helped us to build a phenomenal, new playground for the children at Willow Branch. To top off this amazing day, the CarMax foundation surprised Star- C Programs with a check for $10,000.

As we know, giving back to the community is valuable within itself. Star-C Programs has been given the unique privilege of receiving so much support from our community, in helping us to continue to grow our mission. On behalf of Star-C Programs, we would like to give special thanks to all our volunteers, the CarMax Foundation and Kaboom! This playground would not have been possible without all their hard work and dedication!


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