Three years after launching its Let’s Play initiative, Dr Pepper Snapple Group wants to play some more. The company has committed another $11 million to expand its efforts to provide tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority in the lives of kids, families and communities across North America.
More than 1 million kids will benefit as DPS extends its partnership with KaBOOM! through 2016 with a $10 million commitment to build new playgrounds and improve existing ones. In addition, DPS has entered a one-year, $1 million partnership with Good Sports to provide athletic gear, footwear and equipment to community organizations coast to coast, benefiting 1.6 million youngsters.
“At Dr Pepper Snapple Group, we recognize that play is a vital element of a child’s physical and emotional well-being. It helps make kids healthy and happy through creativity, exploration and physical activity and ties directly to our efforts to foster physically active, engaged and sustainable communities,” said Vicki Draughn, VP of corporate affairs at DPS. “We are excited to continue our partnership with KaBOOM! to provide even more great places to play, and we are very pleased to expand the scope of our Let’s Play initiative to older kids by teaming up with Good Sports to provide essential new sports equipment and gear for deserving organizations.”
A community partnership led by DPS to get kids and families active nationwide, Let’s Play began in 2011 with a three-year, $15 million commitment to KaBOOM! The company built 41 playgrounds — with more than 2,300 DPS employees contributing nearly 19,000 volunteer hours in the construction — and provided grants ranging from $500 to $30,000 for the improvement of another 2,004 playgrounds.
With the new $10 million commitment, DPS’s support of KaBOOM! through Let’s Play will exceed $25 million by the end of 2016. In the next three years, DPS will fund 30 new playground builds and a grant program that will improve nearly 400 playgrounds, including providing innovative play equipment such as Imagination Playground and Rigamajig.
“Nothing is more essential to a child’s health and well-being than safe places to play where kids can explore outside the box, creating active minds and active bodies,” said Darell Hammond, founder and CEO of KaBOOM!. “Our partnership with DPS has been instrumental in raising the national conversation about why play matters and, on behalf of the families and communities served by the partnership, we are grateful for their support.”
With Good Sports, Let’s Play expands its reach to include older kids whose favorite forms of play extend beyond playgrounds. It represents one of the most significant partnerships to date for Good Sports, according to Melissa Harper, president and CEO of Good Sports.
“We are thrilled to join DPS in the Let’s Play initiative and look forward to helping expand it to serve all school-aged children who often lack resources for their favorite type of play — organized sports,” said Harper. “Kids of all ages deserve a safe place to play, and the tools to enjoy their surroundings. The good work of Let’s Play makes this possible.”
In addition to the tools and places provided through DPS’s partnerships with KaBOOM! and Good Sports, Let’s Play runs a dedicated website, LetsPlay.com, and networks via Facebook and Twitter. On LetsPlay.com families can find play ideas and tips for various situations — including challenging days like cold and rainy weather — and blog contributions and discussions on the benefits of play.