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Darell Hammond
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Darell Hammond

Darrell Hammond Biography:

Darrell Hammond Biography-Darrell Hammond is an American philanthropist and a founder of the KaBOOM, a non-profit organization that helps communities build playgrounds for children and also served as CEO for 20 years. With more than 20 years of experience in community development and volunteerism, he received a number honors and awards including the President's Volunteer Service Award. He was named in the top 30 social entrepreneurs list in 2011 listed by Forbes and was named as a "Health hero" by WebMD. In 201, Hammond released his memoir, KaBOOM! How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play; is New York Times best-selling memoir.

The main cause of inspiration for Darrel Hammond was a mournful heart-rending story read by him that came up in The Washington Post. The incident was all about two local children who were suffocated to death while playing within the closed doors of an abandoned car as they had nowhere else to go for playing. Moved by the gruesome harrowing tragedy, Darrel Hammond along with his friend Dawn Hutchison got firmly determined to create numerous alfresco playground places which became the refreshing spots of cheerful physical activities for ebullient children.

In 1996, Hammond and Hutchison incorporated KaBOOM!. Today KaBOOM! has grown to build or restore more than 17,000 playspaces, engage more than 1.5 million volunteers and serve more than 9 million kids.

Quotations Darell On Hammond:

  • “Growing up in a group home, and with an undiagnosed learning disability to boot, the odds of success were not on my side. But when I joined the high school football team, I learned the value of discipline, focus, persistence, and teamwork - all skills that have proven vital to my career as a C.E.O. and social entrepreneur.”

  • “Aaah, summer - that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It's a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends.”

  • “We are raising today's children in sterile, risk-averse and highly structured environments. In so doing, we are failing to cultivate artists, pioneers and entrepreneurs, and instead cultivating a generation of children who can follow the rules in organized sports games, sit for hours in front of screens and mark bubbles on standardized tests.”

  • “Increased physical activity during the school day can help children's attention, classroom behavior, and achievement test scores. Meanwhile, the decline of play is closely linked to ADHD; behavioral problems; and stunted social, cognitive, and creative development.”

  • “In neighborhoods without a usable park or playground, the incidence of childhood obesity increases by 29 percent.”

  • “Kids who don't play are not just at greater risk of falling behind academically, but also of becoming overweight or obese, failing to integrate socially, and even engaging in criminal activity.”

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Darell Hammond

  • “As I see it, the debate between summer vacation vs. year-round school glosses over the most important questions. Namely, how can we bring play back to our nation's schools?”

  •  “Our education system is increasingly embracing a black-and-white way of thinking, in which 'learning' and 'play' are diametrically opposed. 'Learning' is the serious stuff that happens inside a classroom and can be measured via multiple choice questions and a No. 2 pencil. 'Play' is frivolous, fun, and worst of all, optional.”

  • “It's absolutely crucial that every child-serving organization - be it an elementary school, daycare, or community center - provide its children with time and space to play.”

  • “We must make sure that there is recess and P.E. class in every school, getting kids outside for 60 minutes, every day.”

  • “During the year, our schools are busy slashing P.E. and recess to make more time for math. During the summer, we get ourselves worked into a tizzy that our children will forget their fractions.”

  • “By providing our young children with opportunities for free, child-directed play, along with proper nutrition, we are setting them up for a lifetime of healthy habits, versus interventions needed later in life.”

  • “We all have a natural instinct to protect children from harm. It's never fun to see a child hurt, even if it's just a scraped knee. But on the other hand, children need to take on physical challenges to learn and grow, and scraped knees and other bumps and bruises teach them valuable lessons about their own limits.”

Darrell Hammond Biography

Darell Hammond

  • “I was raised in a group home for 14 years, so I was a beneficiary of philanthropy. I didn't have a family. The nameless, faceless strangers were my family. They gave me an education, put food on the table and clothes on my back. I am who I am because of that formative experience. Now I am paying it forward.”

  • “The national nonprofit I founded, 'KaBOOM!,' is on a mission to save play for America's children, and has long been championing the cause in high-need communities.”

  •  “No child wants to fall off a jungle gym or slide. Accidents are an unfortunate fact of life, but to lower every last slide and jungle gym to a height that would only interest a toddler is doing our children a grave disservice.”

  • “During National Playground Safety Week, I'll celebrate common-sense safety. I'll also celebrate skinned knees and bruised elbows. I'll celebrate so-called 'dangerous' playgrounds - playgrounds with see-saws, zip lines and towering slides.”

  • “Our society spends a lot of money on prison bars. For the sake of our kids, let's invest in monkey bars.”

  • “Only one in five children in the U.S. lives within walking distance of a park. Many more lack access to a quality early childhood education that provides ample time and space to play.”

  • “Our society spends a lot of money on prison bars. For the sake of our kids, let's invest in monkey bars.”“As parents, we need to send our kids back to 'old-fashioned' outdoor summer camps, which have been on the decline as the demand for sports and academics-based camps has risen. We need to fight budget cuts to public parks programs and resist closures of public swimming pools and playgrounds.”

Darell Hammond

  • “Play is the best natural resource in a creative economy. Kids need more of it. It is the work of childhood. We hope to intrinsically change the opinion that play is not just a luxury but an absolute necessity for kids' lives.”

  • “This summer, we need to let our kids go play and we need to stop worrying about whether or not it's going to ruin their chances of getting into college.”

  • “People have to see play as more important than what it currently is. We don't want to get boxed into thinking play only happens on a playground. The best type of play is all kinds of play.”

  • “I hope my organization will not be around in 10 years, because at a national, state, and community level, we will have evolved into a society that cares about children and the need for play.”

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