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The Power of Play

Posted on November 30, 2023

In his roles at KABOOM! — a non-profit that builds playspaces in underserved communities — and at the National Fitness Foundation, James Siegal helps deliver the joy of play and movement to millions of kids. This wide-ranging conversation also touches on how playspaces can relieve people’s trauma and drive improvements in our natural environment.
Highlights of the conversation include:
4:40 James’ transformation from corporate lawyer to non-profit leader, thanks to his exposure to KABOOM! and, upon becoming a father, wanting the best for his kids and everyone else’s
8:10 How the general public can influence institutions, such as local government, school boards, park and rec departments, and public housing authorities to address systemic challenges to playspace equity and even simple opportunities to walk or cycle safely
11:56 How magical it is when people come together and break down their differences in the name of improving kids’ lives. “We may not agree on a lot these days, but one thing we can agree on is that every kid deserves a happy childhood.”
17:15 Play brings joy. Focus on the fun!
20:30 How the National Fitness Foundation complements the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition “to excite and mobilize people around healthy lifestyles”–thanks in part to such Council Members as Jose Andres, Elena Delle Donne, Steph and Ayesha Curry, Chloe Kim, and many other famous champions for youth fitness
26:40 His organizations’ efforts to use play as a way to help provide release and relief for those traumatized by the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas and throughout many other areas of our nation in need of healing.