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KaBOOM! A Movement to Save Play


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Rodale Books


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1609619242

9781609619244

320 Pages

$14.99

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KaBOOM! is the powerful, uplifting journey of a man who grew up in a group home with his seven brothers and sisters and went on to build a world-class nonprofit that harnesses the power of community to improve the lives of children.
 In 1995, Darell Hammond read an article in the Washington Post about an unthinkable tragedy: Two young children suffocated in a car on a hot summer day in southeast Washington, DC. The story indicated that the children had nowhere to play; in the absence of a playground, they had climbed into an abandoned car. Reading the article fueled Hammond’s sense of injustice, and his life’s mission came into focus. Hammond founded KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit that provides communities with tools, resources, and guidance to build and renovate playgrounds and playspaces.
In some of the toughest and poorest neighborhoods in North America, 2,000 barren spaces have been transformed by KaBOOM! and more than a million volunteers and community members into kid-designed, fun, and imaginative places to play. This is the story of a man with a vision, a man who believes that play is the best natural resource in a creative economy and that kids need more of it. Play is not a luxury but a necessity for their lives. Through hard work, commitment, and the conviction that access to a safe play environment is the fundamental right of all children, Hammond built an organization that has touched the lives of countless children and families. Hammond’s story demonstrates how one idealist can change the world and how small, civic-minded steps create a ripple effect that can transform communities and eventually the world at large.

REVIEWS

Praise for KaBOOM!

“It takes equal parts audacity, creativity, and vision to build an organization as successful as KaBOOM!—and Darell Hammond has that special blend. I’m proud to have partnered with the organization as First Lady of California to bring 31 new playgrounds to the state’s neediest communities, including the first volunteer-built intergenerational playground in California. It’s a partnership that continues to change lives and transform these communities.”—Maria Shriver, award-winning journalist, bestselling author and activist
 
“Darell Hammond’s visionary work is helping bring national attention to the critical ‘play deficit’ so many children face and transforming not just children but entire communities. Read this compelling, engaging book and be inspired.”—Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children’s Defense Fund
 
“The story of Darell and KaBOOM! demonstrates that true leadership and innovation comes from not only celebrating successes, but also embracing and learning from failures. Through his tireless dedication and willingness to continually re-think traditional approaches to creating social change, Darell’s reflections provide powerful insights into what it takes to become a trailblazer not just in the nonprofit sector, but in any sector.”—Jean Case, CEO, The Case Foundation
 
“Darell Hammond has led an extraordinary life and made extraordinary contributions to the lives of countless others. Part memoir, part manifesto, KaBOOM! is a passionate story of play’s transformative power to deepen the quality of children’s lives and strengthen the bonds of families and communities. A searching and practical journey through triumphs and disappointments, KaBOOM! will inspire and enlighten you with the boundless possibilities of imagination, creativity, and play.”—Sir Ken Robinson, New York Times bestselling author, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
 
“Business entrepreneurs build economic prosperity in a society. Social entrepreneurs build communities and knit social fabric. Darell Hammond is an unusual combination of both. His story is both instructional and heartwarming.”—Ram Charan, bestselling author, What the CEO Wants You to Know

"No one speaks with more passion and authenticity than Darell Hammond when it comes to the needs of our children. In KaBOOM!, Darell Hammond shares important insight into the personal experiences and influences that led him to found one of the nation's most innovaitive nonprofits. Through his thoughtful exploration of how KaBOOM! became the successful organization it is today, Hammond inspires us all to take action in our own communities. He reminds us that there is no task more important than fighting for those most voiceless and vulnerable in our country—our children."—Bill Shore, Founder and Executive Director, Share Our Strength

"Improving the quality of life in our communities is an important part of the NBA's lission, and working with Darell Hammond and the KaBOOM! team has enabled us to enrich children's lives across the country. In KaBOOM!, Darell demonstrates the extraordinary change that is possible with innovation and teamwork."—David Stern, NBA Commissioner

"Darell Hammond is a quintessential social entrepreneur who has overcome personal challenges and built a dynamic organization that is bringing play to hard-hit communities across the country. At a time when play has been marginalized, Hammond's inspiring and pragmatic story shows how we can make our society a happier and healthier place for all children."—David Bornstein, author of How to Change the World

"Darell Hammond's journey is as inspirational as it is illuminating. His passion for play and his organizational success makes for a book that is invaluable to anyone devoted to youth or community development."—Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO, Harlem Children's Zone

"If you want to understand the heart of a great entrepreneur, you should read this read this book. Darell Hammond is one of America's best social entrepreneurs; he's bringing play and community back. In KaBOOM! he shares openly and humorously the life underlying his work."—Bill Drayton, Founder, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public and Ashoka's Youh Venture

"KaBOOM! is extremely timely and full of hope and optimism. Darell's ability to see possibility in normal human enterprise is as deep as it is global in its implications for how to build a better world. I recommend this inspirational book without hesitation."—Bill Strickland, President and CEO, Manchester Bidwell Corporation 

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

DARELL HAMMOND is the founder and CEO of KaBOOM!, an innovative nonprofit based in Washington, DC, that brings volunteers and community members together to build playgrounds for children across the country. Founded out of Hammond’s apartment in 1996, KaBOOM! has raised $200 million, rallied a million volunteers, led the hands-on construction of 2,000 playgrounds, and inspired a movement for the child’s right to play. Darell and his wife, Kate, reside in Washington, DC.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


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  • Darell Hammond is the founder and CEO of KaBOOM!, an innovative nonprofit based in
    Washington, DC, that is saving play by ensuring there is a great place to play within walking
    distance of every child in America. Founded out of Hammond’s apartment in 1996, KaBOOM!
    has raised $200 million, rallied a million volunteers, led the hands-on construction of
    2,000 playgrounds, and inspired a movement for the child’s right to play. Darell and his wife, Kate,
    reside in Washington, DC.
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