New England Patriots and UnitedHealthcare Build a Playground for Blackstone Valley Prep in Cumberland

  • Hundreds of volunteers, including Patriots players, built a 3,000-square-foot playground in six hours

Representatives from the New England Patriots, UnitedHealthcare and Blackstone Valley Prep celebrate the completion of the new 3,000-square-foot playground at Blackstone Valley Prep Elementary School 3 (Photo: Alan Grant).

CUMBERLAND, R.I. — 

Today more than 200 members of the Cumberland community and UnitedHealthcare employees joined the New England Patriots and KaBOOM! to build a new playground at Blackstone Valley Prep's (BVP) Elementary School 3.

Blackstone Valley Prep is a K-4th-grade elementary school in the Providence-based public charter school network of the same name. Known as Elementary School 3, the school is expanding and has moved into a new location that previously housed high school students, yet lacks a playground.

"We were excited to team with UnitedHealthcare to turn this dream of a new playground into a reality for Blackstone Valley Prep," said Josh Kraft, president of the New England Patriots Foundation. "We know the value of physical activity and exercise, particularly for children, and this new space will give students a place to play for years to come."

The new play space will give the more than 400 students a place to engage in safe and healthy activities. In July, students from BVP's Elementary School 3 helped design the new 3,000-square-foot playground during a special "design day" event, incorporating new elements such as a triple racer slide, ripple bridge, superdome climber and more.

"Many of us take for granted that there will be great community play spaces without putting in the time to coordinate designing and building them," said Josh Falk, Head of School, Blackstone Valley Prep Elementary School 3. "We are confident that this playground will mean a great deal to our scholars and our community, particularly for people who may not have access to many great playground or green spaces like this."

"UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to work with the Patriots, KaBOOM! and the Cumberland community to build this new playground at BVP Elementary School 3," said Stephen Farrell, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of New England. "This new play space will give these kids a place to play and exercise outdoors with their friends and families, while creating healthy habits that will last a lifetime."

Volunteers worked with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization that helps bring balanced and active play into children's daily lives. The Boston playground is the 3,099th KaBOOM!-organized build since 1996, the 28th created by KaBOOM! and UnitedHealthcare, and the 9th built with the Patriots.

This playground build is part of UnitedHealthcare's "Do Good. Live Well." program, an employee-volunteer initiative dedicated to decreasing hunger and obesity, inspiring service and encouraging volunteerism.

For more information about the benefits of volunteering and to find opportunities to volunteer alongside UnitedHealthcare in your community, visit DoGoodLiveWell.org. Follow @DoGoodLiveWell on Twitter or "like" Do Good. Live Well. on Facebook.

About the Blackstone Valley Prep

Blackstone Valley Prep (BVP) is a network of high performing, tuition-free public charter schools. As a growing, intentionally diverse network of six schools, BVP offers a high quality public school choice to the families of Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln and Pawtucket and currently serves nearly 2,000 scholars in grades K-12. BVP's mission is to prepare every scholar for success in college and the world beyond. More information can be found at www.blackstonevalleyprep.org   

About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – especially those living in poverty – the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play. KaBOOM! inspires communities to make play the easy choice and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of PLAYces. KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build or improve more than 17,000 playspaces, engaged more than 1.5 million volunteers and served over 9 million kids. To learn why play matters for all kids, visit kaboom.org and join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom, facebook.com/kaboom and instagram.com/kaboom. #playmatters #PLAYceforKids

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.2 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @UHC on Twitter.

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New England Patriots and UnitedHealthcare Build a Playground for Blackstone Valley Prep in Cumberland