Monday, October 05, 2009

Foresters and community partners volunteer to build new playground in Ben Hill community

/PRNewswire/ -- R.N. Fickett Elementary School in Southwest Atlanta has a brand new playground thanks to a coordinated effort of 200 volunteers from Foresters(TM), students, teachers and the community who erected the facility. This playground will serve the children of Ben Hill where previously there was the original wooden equipment from 1972. Georgia State Representative Roger Bruce, Dr. Sharon Williams, Atlanta Public Schools and Yolanda Johnson, Atlanta Board of Education, joined Stephen Sprague, Foresters Director, Legal, in acknowledging the tremendous contribution made by all the volunteers.

"Foresters is thrilled to provide the children of the Ben Hill community with a wonderful new park where they can play and spend quality family time together," said Stephen Sprague. "This is Foresters' sixth playground build of 2009, and another excellent example of team spirit and of Foresters purpose coming to life. Foresters champions the well-being of families by investing in our communities and by providing opportunities for our members, our agents and staff to help make a difference."

Foresters, a member-based life insurance provider with members throughout Georgia, funded and organized the playground build with KaBOOM!, local parents, R.N. Fickett Elementary School and Atlanta Public Schools. This is the fourth of six playgrounds in the U.S. that Foresters is funding and organizing with KaBOOM! this year. In its 135th anniversary year, Foresters has invested close to $500,000 to provide playgrounds where children and their parents can spend quality time together playing, learning and having fun.

Before the first hole was dug in the ground, children from R.N. Fickett Elementary School helped design the playground of their dreams.

"This KaBOOM! opportunity allows Fickett to be a shining beacon in the community," said Dr. Anthony Dorsey, Principal of Fickett Elementary. "We pride ourselves in being a high performing elementary school in an urban environment. These new additions allow Fickett to transcend tradition and history and become a beautiful educational facility that upholds the standards and expectations of our esteemed community.

"Our goals at Fickett are to come around full circle and display 360 degrees of progress. This playground will energize our students and encourage all Fickett Trojans to complete the circle and attain the 360 degrees of achievement. Fickett has always been a great place to learn. This KaBOOM! partnership will allow us to be a great place to learn and PLAY. And like our funding partner, Foresters, Fickett 'Champions the well-being of Families.'"

The new playground will be nearly 2,400 square feet in size and includes an adaptive swing set, bell panel, catacombs panel, chime panel, drum panel, funnel adventure tube and much, much more. With a duration expectancy range from 15 to 20 years, the playground has the capacity to serve approximately 8,200 children in its lifetime.

Foresters investment in this playground extends beyond the work completed on build day. Foresters volunteers and the community have made a commitment to maintain the playground to ensure it is available for subsequent generations of parents and children.

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