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Where Did Your Kids Play This Summer?

by on Monday, July 29, 2013

I spent my summer days on the playgrounds, courts and fields at Walsingham Elementary School in Largo, Florida.

We played football in the fields, basketball on the courts and climbed and swung on the playgrounds.  One of my fondest memories on that school playground was flying kites on the back field watching a circus train go by on the train tracks that bordered the property.  Every kid in our state should have the opportunity to develop memories like these.

My parents still live in the same neighborhood and on a recent visit I snapped this picture of the playground that all the kids used to play on.  The neighborhood is still full of young kids, but now the fun is locked away.  The childhood obesity problem in our state is not a single fix issue, but some resolutions are easily within our reach.

With more and more schools putting up fences and locking up their playgrounds and basketball courts on the weekends and all summer long, the days of neighborhood playgrounds at the local school are pretty much over. 

During the remaining weeks of summer we are reaching out to the Superintendents across the state to garner support for our Joint Use legislation that will alleviate liability from the schools that open up their property to the neighborhoods they reside in.  If you have a relationship with your local superintendent of schools, please reach out to them and ask them to support the American Heart Association’s efforts to open up our schools' recreational facilities.  It's an easy way to help our children lead healthier, longer lives.

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