Rebuilding Atlanta-area playground to help end playspace inequity
One of Zoom’s four social impact focus areas is supporting the success of young people and students. This involves deploying our people, product, and resources to improve youth education, mental health, and life outcomes while applying an equity lens to ensure our efforts reach the most underserved communities.
Through this work, we know that play is a critical element in a child’s development, mental, and physical health. And it has become even more important over the last couple of years as school and home lives were transformed by the pandemic – increasing pressure on children and their families.
That’s why we were thrilled to partner with KABOOM!, a national nonprofit that works to end playspace inequity, and the city of Stone Mountain, Georgia, to build a new kid-designed playground at McCurdy Park. The original playspace at McCurdy Park was lost to arson more than six years ago, and Stone Mountain Mayor Beverly Jones has made it a priority to revitalize that part of the city and connect the community in new ways.
Making an impactful community contribution
At this year’s Growth Summit, Zoom’s sales leadership team announced a grant to support KABOOM! and partnered with Zoom Cares, our social impact arm, to put the playground project in motion.
“Giving back to the community is so important to Zoom employees, and this felt like a meaningful collective gift on behalf of our team,” said Michelle Dotson, Zoom’s Head of Go-To-Market Enablement & Strategy. “By partnering with KABOOM! we’re able to help bring joy to the lives of young people in a community where our contribution will make a real difference.”
In August, school leaders gathered with the municipal government and Zoom to co-design the playspace together. Stone Mountain Elementary students shared drawings of their dream play spaces with project organizers, to be integrated into the final playground design. Representatives from the community as well as the parents of the kids who shared drawings also had a big part in the design phase.
On Nov. 17, more than 70 Atlanta-area Zoomies, as well as volunteers from the city of Stone Mountain, came together to erect the state-of-the-art community playground. In addition to a charitable donation to fund the build, Zoom also donated Zoom Meetings licenses for teachers and staff at the elementary school to use throughout the year.
This project is part of a nationwide effort by KABOOM! to end playspace inequity. The reality is, places to play are not available to every child. Far too many children in communities of color lack adequate spaces to play, limiting their ability to fully experience the physical, social, and emotional health benefits they offer.
“The McCurdy Park playground will provide the children of Stone Mountain the opportunity to interact and make new friends, learn through play, and practice key social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills,” said Beverly Jones, mayor of Stone Mountain.
“We are so excited to be in partnership with the city of Stone Mountain, Kaboom, and Zoom,” said Char-Shenda Covington, principal of Stone Mountain Elementary. “Our community deserves a beacon of light, in the center of it all. A safe, warm, and inclusive playground for the scholars is an amazing way to kick off fall, coupled with the legacy our scholars helped to build. We are committed to whole child development, in and outside of the classroom.”
We at Zoom were honored to be a part of this amazing project. We’d like to thank Mayor Jones, Principal Covington, Stone Mountain Councilmember Gil Freeman, the KABOOM! team, and all of our Zoomies who donated their time to make all of this possible. We hope this will be a place that can spark joy and foster a sense of belonging for underserved kids for years to come!
Care is our core value here at Zoom — we care for our company, customers, teammates, ourselves, and our communities. We recognize that every company has an impact on the world, and we care about making our impact as positive and effective as possible. Zoom Cares envisions a more just society for people and the planet we all share.
To learn more about our work and the organizations we partner with, visit our webpage.