Volunteers build playground designed by Aldine ISD students

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A local elementary school has a brand new playground that they designed themselves, thanks to the hard work of more than 200 volunteers in the community.

Thompson Elementary students haven't had a playground for two years, and when they did, it was not in good condition.

"When we first arrived here we had a playground. It was falling apart. We had some students get hurt. We had some hospital visits. The playground had to be demolished. That's two years in a row our kids had nothing to play with. This means a lot to our students, our community," Thompson Elementary Assistant Principal Ashley Smith-Jackson said.

The school didn't have the funds to build or get a new playground, but with the help of many people in the community, they'll finally have a place to expand their minds.

Volunteers from Target and KaBOOM were at Thompson Elementary Wednesday building a special and unique play area for the students.

"When you see the final product, it's dope. It's not like any other playground like I've seen before. It might help the kids get off the Xbox and Playstation and want get out and be active," Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins said.

Hopkins took a break from training to help the students' play designs come to life. He said the design that went into this is something he looks for when he brings his daughter to the park.

"I look for playgrounds, not just for swings. Not just the simple stuff but where it challenges my daughter to think. How do I move this? How do I climb up this? Something that gives her life skills that she wouldn't get in the classroom or at home," Hopkins said.

Part of the playground features an installation that includes colorful and playful elements to enhance students' pick-up and drop-off experiences.

"We are making their real dreams come true. They literally drew this. We told them to dream big. Every single thing that they asked for, they are going to get today," Smith-Jackson said.

The KaBOOM organization has been dedicated to the goal of giving all children, specifically those growing up in poverty, a childhood filled with balance and active play so that they can thrive.

KaBOOM, a national non-profit, has built, improved and opened more than 16,000 playgrounds and served 8.5 million children.

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