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Press Release: August 1, 2016
Habitot Children's Museum
Media Contact:
Marketing Manager: Toni Mikulka - Direct: (510) 647-1111 x17 toni@habitot.org
Public Information: www.habitot.org
Images: attached

Habitot Children's Museum Named Finalist in

KaBOOM! - $1 Million Play Everywhere Challenge

Musical Fence

(Berkeley, CA) August 1, 2016

Competition will fund play spaces in unexpected places in cities across America.

Habitot has been selected as a finalist in KaBoom!’s Play Everywhere Challenge, a $1 million national competition that will award outside-the-box ideas to make play easy, available, and fun for kids and families in cities across the U.S. KaBOOM! is a national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all children, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. If funded, this will be Habitot’s second pop-up play experience offered to the community. It received a $32,000 grant from the Superbowl 50 Fund administered by KaBOOM! in January to install a giant outdoor sandbox that was visited by over 3,500 in one week. Its current proposal is to install the HabiTONE Zone - a Musical Playwalk - an interactive, outdoor music walkway on Adeline at Alcatraz in Berkeley. Habitot was selected as a finalist out of a pool of more than 1,000 applications nationwide. Winners will be announced in early fall, 2016.

The Challenge, developed in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Target, Playworld, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Endowment for the Arts, attracted an outpouring of creative ideas to spark kids’ imaginations and get their bodies moving. The inspiration for the HabiTONE Zone - a Musical Playwalk came the knowledge that music is a foundational language for humans, especially children, and musical play is rarely found in parks and playgrounds. “Play builds better brains and is especially beneficial for vulnerable children. The HabiTONE Zone - a Musical Playwalk will be located in an under-resourced neighborhood that the City of Berkeley is working especially hard to revitalize,” says Habitot Children’s Museum’s founder and executive director, Gina Moreland.

“We were astonished at the number and quality of the applications we received,” said James Siegal, CEO of KaBOOM!. “To us, it shows a huge, untapped potential to reimagine cities with kids in mind, and boost their opportunity to get the play they need to thrive. And when kids thrive, cities thrive.”

Musical Fence

Kids need play to grow up healthy, resilient and ready for life. Research shows play is vital to healthy brain development and is pivotal to how kids learn problem-solving, conflict resolution and creativity--in other words, the skills they need to succeed as adults. Yet today, too many kids, especially those growing up in poverty, are missing out on play because of families’ time pressures, the lure of screens, and a lack of safe places to go. Meanwhile, evidence shows missing out on the chance to play puts kids at risk for challenges ranging from obesity to anxiety to trouble adjusting in school.

Winners for the competition will be selected in fall 2016. To learn more about Habitot’s ideas for making play happen everywhere in Berkeley, contact Habitot’s Marketing Manager, Toni Mikulka, at toni@habitot.org or visit, Habitot.org. To learn more about the Play Everywhere Challenge, including a gallery of ideas for what Play Everywhere could look like across the U.S. please visit http://kaboom.org/playeverywhere

About Habitot Children's Museum

Habitot’s mission is to help parents and caregivers raise curious, creative and confident children with hands-on exhibits and programs to focus exclusively on early childhood, ages 0-5. Habitot aims to reach all children with play via free admission days and in dedicated programs for children experiencing special needs, teen parents, formerly incarcerated mothers, children experiencing homelessness and children in the foster care system.

Since opening almost eighteen years ago in 1998, Habitot has welcomed over 1,100,000 visitors, filling a niche for new parents and caregivers who seek safe and enriching experiences for young children, with parenting support, a toy lending library, affordable music and art classes, immersive learning exhibits, a drop-in Art Studio, role playing centers.

Habitot Children's Museum has been recognized as the "best museum for families" by Bay Area Parent Magazine readers. In addition, Habitot's founder, Gina Moreland, has been honored with a Bay Area "Jefferson Award", and was the City of Berkeley's "Early Childhood Champion of the Year." Habitot received the GuideStar Exchange Silver participation level, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability provided by GuideStar USA, Inc., the premier source of nonprofit information. Annually since 2010, Habitot has been designated a "Top-Rated Nonprofit" by GreatNonprofits, a leading provider of reviews and ratings of nonprofit organizations. Habitot participates in the Association of Children’s Museum’s program, “Museum’s For All,” which accepts EBT cards and ensures that all children may enjoy museums regardless of their income.

Habitot Children's Museum
2065 Kittredge Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 647-1111
www.habitot.org