23:11 PM

Fiesta Bowl Partners with SRP and KABOOM! to Build a Playground at A New Leaf in Mesa

More than 100 community volunteers came together to build 10th playground through Fiesta Bowl legacy projects

Completed Playground photo 2

Fiesta Bowl Charities, along with partners with Salt River Project (SRP) and KABOOM!, built a new, innovative 2,000 square-foot playground at A New Leaf in Mesa. It marks the 10th location for a Fiesta Bowl Charities playground legacy project over the last five years.

More than 100 volunteers from Fiesta Bowl Charities, SRP and KABOOM! came together to build the state-of-the-art playground for the hundreds of children that attend A New Leaf's East Valley After School Program (EVASP).

Earlier this year, children from the surrounding community created the concept of their dream play space and shared their artwork with project organizers. The drawings were used as inspiration for the playground design. Now those dreams are a reality.

"Getting kids outside to play is so important for their physical and emotional health and to enhance their social interactions," said Kristina Chumpol, Fiesta Bowl Community Relations Director. "SRP, KABOOM! and A New Leaf were amazing teammates, as we are able to enhance the lives of the children and parents in the Mesa community by providing a safe and fun space to play."

Prior to the newly minted playground, the East Valley After School Program had one basketball court that served as the main play space for community members.

"As a not-for-profit, community utility, SRP strives to help build strong communities and that starts with our children," said Andrea Moreno, manager of SRP Community Stewardship. "We're honored to join Fiesta Bowl Charities in supporting A New Leaf with a new playground that will provide joy to kids and lend a hand to our neighbors when it is needed most."

With play being so important for kids, and especially a safe space to play, the Mesa community, near Stapley Drive and Brown Road, now has a space to gather, foster relationships and promote healthy lifestyles for their children.
"This new equipment is more than a playground for kids in our after-school program. We've created a safe space which promotes creative expression and character development through the power of play," said A New Leaf CEO Michael Hughes. "This playground wouldn't be possible without the collaboration and generosity of SRP, Fiesta Bowl Charities and KABOOM!"

Fiesta Bowl Charities granted KABOOM! funding to help build the playground and supports KABOOM! in promoting and protecting a child's right to active play at home, at school and in the community. Volunteers worked together for three straight days to build the play space from the ground up.

"The innovative new playground at A New Leaf will offer the countless social, emotional, and physical benefits of play to hundreds of kids each year," said KABOOM! CEO Lysa Ratliff. "We are thrilled to work alongside our partners and come one step closer to ensuring that every single child in Mesa has an amazing place to play and thrive."

The East Valley After School Program has been making a positive impact for children and families since 2006, offering a socially positive, safe environment for children with social, emotional and behavioral health challenges to participate in artistic, educational, and physical activities. Program objectives are:

  • To improve the home, school, and social behavior of children in programs,
  • To provide an engaging, educational after school environment,
  • To improve coping and conflict resolution skills, and
  • Successfully transition children back to their community based after-school programs.

Given that so many young children spend so much of their out-of-school time at the EVASP, a playground has always been a wish. A playground allows children to play and be active in an environment that supports their unique challenges, something most do not experience on their playgrounds at school or in their neighborhoods. It also allows program staff an opportunity to coach children on how to adapt their behaviors on the playground in order to build positive relationships in other social environments.

Playground Build Video:


(Photos available upon request.)

About the Fiesta Bowl
Since 1971, the Fiesta Bowl is a world-class community organization that executes innovative experiences, drives economic growth and champions charitable causes, inspiring pride in all Arizonans during and outside of college football bowl season. As a nonprofit organization, it is driven by its vision for the importance of community outreach and service. Through the PlayStation® Fiesta Bowl, Guaranteed Rate Bowl and its year-round events, such as the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe, corporate partnerships and numerous community events throughout the year, the organization provides charitable giving to enhance Arizona nonprofit organizations that serve communities through youth, sports and education. 
About A New Leaf
A New Leaf advances its mission of "Helping Families…Changing Lives," by providing meaningful opportunities to empower disadvantaged individuals and families, and to create a stronger and healthier community. A New Leaf's 30+ programs in the Phoenix Metro area address households' immediate and longer-term needs through a continuum of care that promotes social and economic health and stability. Services include emergency shelter, supportive housing, domestic and sexual violence support, financial empowerment, behavioral and primary health care, foster care, early childhood education, and family preservation. With?50 years' experience providing social services to local communities, A New Leaf anticipates improving more than 30,000 lives this year through culturally responsive programming that cultivates equity in the community.

KABOOM! is the national non-profit that works to achieve playspace equity. Kids who don't have access to play miss out on childhood and are denied critical opportunities to build physical, social and emotional health. And all too often, it more deeply affects communities of color. So we amplify the power of communities to build inspiring playspaces that spark unlimited opportunities for every kid, everywhere. KABOOM! has teamed up with partners to build or improve 17,000+ playspaces, engage more than 1.5 million community members and bring joy to more than 11 million kids. To learn about our goal to end playspace inequity for good, visit kaboom.org and join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboomfacebook.com/kaboom and instagram.com/kaboom.

About SRP

SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP is also the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 750,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.