Fort Sam Houston Elementary School

PK Teacher, Mrs. Neal, Wins Grant for an Imagination Playground at FSHE

Many kids experience significant emotional impact when a parent deploys or returns home from military service, or when they move locations frequently. According to Blue Star Families' annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey, "military child education and impact of deployment on children" ranked among the top five concerns for both service members and military spouses for the first time in the history of this survey. When kids face uncertainty or stress, play creates a safe buffer against the change or adversity around them. The opportunity to play is crucial for kids to restore normalcy and stay active and healthy.

"We are proud to be the first corporate partner with KaBOOM! to make a significant commitment to bringing playspaces to military communities across the country," said Matt Aman, president of The CarMax Foundation. "Our associates are excited about seeing the impact these new spaces will have on the communities in which we live and work, and they understand the importance of promoting and protecting opportunities for kids to play. We have a deeply rooted commitment to supporting our military community, so this effort aligns perfectly with our goals."

The CarMax Foundation has provided the majority of the funding for the playgrounds and creative play sets through its national partnership with KaBOOM!, supporting The Foundation's commitment to furthering the cause of kid's healthy living. "Opportunities to play are an essential part of childhood and help kids develop resiliency and grit, as they fall and pick themselves up," said James Siegal, CEO of KaBOOM!. "When kids experience stress or transition in their lives, play also provides a creative outlet to help them cope, and can restore normalcy and stability. We know this is particularly true for kids who move often or have deployed parents. Thanks to The CarMax Foundation's continued leadership and commitment to supporting our military community, we're able to create more opportunities for kids to experience the healing power of play."