Students' new playground to be built in a day

March 7, 2011 12:55:50 PM PST
There are more than 200 kids in northeast Houston who are very excited about what's taking place outside their school. Thanks to Disney -- the owner of ABC13 -- and non-profit KaBOOM, the pieces for a big new toy in their backyard are coming together.

Ground has been broken on what has been a dream for dozens of young students at the KIPP Legacy Preparatory School in northeast Houston.

It's prep day for what will soon be a playground and learning garden. Currently, the more than 200 kids at KIPP Academy, built just last year, have no real space to play outdoors.

"I wish I had a playground," said five-year-old student Noah.

Their cafeteria doubles as a place to eat and play.

Teacher Mallory Richardson said, "We have part of the cafeteria that is sectioned off for recess. We eat lunch and then move over to this side for recess."

But Disney, the owner of ABC13, has donated more than a million dollars to help playground designer and non-profit organization KaBOOM build a playground and learning garden here in Houston and in 11 other communities around the country.

The station's employees are providing some of the elbow grease. It's by harnessing the power of volunteerism that the project comes together by Friday.

KaBOOM project manager Lexi Paza explained, "Build day, it all happens through volunteer power. We will have between 250-275 people on site doing every single part of the playground and garden construction."

Once complete, students are ready to take care of their big new toy.

"Every day we might cover it up, so no water might get on it," suggested six-year-old student Ralanta.

The big day is on Friday, when everything will be constructed. The playground area will include a vegetable garden so kids can learn firsthand about growing and eating nutritious food.