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WK Kellogg Foundation to Match Donations for Boundless Playgrounds in Michigan






In honor of its 75th Anniversary this year, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is supporting a statewide effort in Michigan to help communities build fully integrated, universally-accessible playgrounds and raise awareness about the benefits of children of all abilities playing together.


W.K. Kellogg did not found the Kellogg Company until the age of 46. The cereal "giant" was a man who lived modestly and desired to put his money toward good works, not to surround himself with the accoutrements of a mogul of industry. Instead, he gave to charitable causes, including aid for British orphans of World War I, the blind, and several hospital and medical programs.

In 1930, looking for a vehicle to steward his philanthropy, Kellogg established the W.K. Kellogg Child Welfare Foundation. In 1931, the Foundation created the first school in the United States to integrate regular and special education students in the classroom. In 1934, Kellogg donated more than $66 million in company stock and other investments to the Foundation, renaming it the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

After six decades, W.K. Kellogg's ideas and principles remain the driving force of the Foundation. The Foundation owns substantial equity in the Kellogg Company, but is governed by an independent board of trustees and receives income primarily from the investment of the W.K. Kellogg Trust.

The mission of the Foundation is: "To help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations."






"Federal guidelines require 50 percent of a playground's elevated structure be accessible. On larger playgrounds, 25 percent of the elevated play platforms must be ramped. By comparison, Boundless Playgrounds require that at least 70 percent of play activities serve children with physical disabilities."--Jean Schappet, Boundless Playgrounds cofounder and creative director.


In honor of its 75th Anniversary in 2005, the Foundation is supporting a statewide effort in Michigan to help communities build fully- integrated, universally-accessible playgrounds and raise awareness about the benefits of children of all abilities playing together.

The Able-to-Play project is about new play areas inclusive for all children. For physically handicapped children, a playground is often a too restrictive and frustrating experience. This is precisely why the nonprofit Connecticut-based National Center for Boundless Playgrounds(R) was established in 1997. The inspiration for Boundless Playgrounds (BP) came from its cofounder and executive director, Amy Jaffe Barzach. Her son, Jonathon, died of spinal muscular atrophy in 1995. With the support of volunteers and donations, Barzach's community built an inclusive playground in memory of Jonathon. In 1998, Boundless Playgrounds expanded after it received a grant from the Hasbro Children's Foundation to launch a national awareness campaign and to fund technical assistance to 24 communities. By mid-2003, BP had helped more than 60 communities in 21 states to develop their own playgrounds. Now BP is launching a major statewide effort in Michigan with a multimillion-dollar Kellogg Foundation grant. Most of the award will provide Able to Play challenge grants and technical, design, and support services to 13 communities. Seven additional communities will receive smaller "seed" awards and design-mentoring services. Other Able-to-Play applicants will be offered opportunities to attend BP's "basic training" workshops that review special play behavior and design criteria. An ancillary component of the project is a playground design competition.

"The Able-to-Play project ties in very appropriately with the original vision of Mr. Kellogg to help children and create positive community change," said Gail McClure, vice president for the Foundation's youth and education programs.

BP play spaces are not just about wheelchair access, but are also designed to meet the needs of children with sensory and developmental disabilities. The BP vision is playgrounds designed to be fun, rigorous, and challenging places for all children--not only the special-needs kids.



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December 6, 2019, 12:42 pm PDT

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