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The Shawnee News-Star
  • New playground equipment unveiled

  • A teacher counted to three and a hoard of young children rushed toward stacks of oversized blue foam parts.
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  • A teacher counted to three and a hoard of young children rushed toward stacks of oversized blue foam parts.
    The equipment is part of the new "Imagination Playground in a Cart" that was unveiled June 26 at the Troy and Dollie Smith Family YMCA, 700 W Saratoga.
    The portable playground was made possible by KaBOOM! and a grant from Dr Pepper Snapple, said Theresa Hendrix, CEO of the Troy and Dollie Smith Family YMCA.
    KaBOOM! is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting children's health and well-being through play.
    "They build what they want to without any input from the staff," Hendrix said. "It lets the kids use their imaginations to be creative and build whatever they want."
    The equipment is designed to promote creativity and creation.
    "We can pack (the playground) in the crate and take it somewhere else on a trainer," Hendrix said. "We can take it to other places so more kids have the opportunity to play with it."
    The Troy and Dollie Smith Family YMCA serves more than 1,000 children in the Shawnee community.
    "We want to thank Dr Pepper and Snapple for helping the kids have some fun," said Pottawatomie County Commissioner Randy Thomas.
    The grant from Dr Pepper Snapple is part of their nationwide "Let's Play" community partnership to help families and children get active.
    "It's very stimulating to them to be able to do something besides sit in front of a computer," he said.
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