Fit and Fun Playscapes interacts with our customers throughout the country by engaging with communities and working closely with volunteers to bring custom stencil projects to life. This week, we’ll focus in on one of our projects and share the stories of how our stencils interact with, and improve the lives of, the communities around them.
Bogalusa Strong: Well-Ahead Louisiana, Bogalusa, LA
On Oct. 26, two teams of volunteers got together at the Bogalusa YMCA to paint Fit and Fun’s custom playground stencils. There they painted a variety of high-intensity stencils to provide local residents with calorie-burning activities like hopscotch, lunges, and squats in order to fight childhood and adult obesity on a local level. This is important, since Well-Ahead Louisiana, an initiative launched by the Louisiana Board of Health in 2014, reports on their website that Louisiana ranks 49th in Overall Health and 46th in Cancer Deaths and Obesity nationwide, according to America’s Health Rankings, 2017.
“Chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, cost Louisiana a total of $4.5 billion in 2003,” the website writes. “The additional economic loss caused by sick days and reduced productivity in Louisiana was $17.4 billion in the same time period. Adjusted for inflation, Louisiana drained an estimated $28 billion from the nation’s economy in 2013 in the form of treatment costs, economic loss and productivity loss.”
The painting train didn’t stop at the YMCA: instead, volunteers then went over to Goodyear Park and Cassidy Park to finish off the day with more floor stencils, also aimed at fighting childhood obesity and improving community health.
But what’s important is the community interaction with the stencils after painting…and we’re happy to report that there’s plenty! Just a day after painting, Oct. 27, the Festival of the Young Child was held at Cassidy Park. Families got a chance to interact with our brand-new stencils there. On Tuesday, Nov. 6, when people across the country were voting, the staff of Bogalusa Head Start & Early Head Start, a local preschool, celebrated their Wellness Day 2018 and interacted with some of our stencils during a walk!
“To help promote increased physical activity, the playground stencils are being installed in multiple locations across the community,” said Valerie Vincent, FCS Regional Coordinator for the Southeast Region at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, or LSU Agcenter for short. “The stencils get residents physically active while also enhancing community spaces with a playful element. The stencil project has been such a successful avenue for building and strengthening relationships within the community.
“This was a true community partnership through the Healthy Community Coalition program. Our three organizations work with the Mayor and residents to create, promote and engage the community in healthy living opportunities,” said Vincent.
How do your playground stencils help the community interact with one another? Let us know!