Sunday, August 2, 2009

JNF's New "Big Blue Box"

Before we left S'derot with Karyn London, we decided to try and find the new indoor playground in S'derot. We asked someone for directions and were told "Look for the big blue box." Sure enough, we found it at the end of the street!

The inside of the building was just as welcoming as the entrance - and even more amazing!

There were areas for little kids to play "pretend" and to jump and roll around;

DDR stations; basket ball hoops and punching bags; a half-length soccer field with goals;

a climbing wall; a fuse-ball (!) table; and even a separate space for teens to have dances!

For so many of the kids (who are struggling with PTSD), perhaps the most important space was this one:

a place where parents can hang out comfortably, yet be in clear view of their children!

The facility has a computer room, an arts and crafts room, party rooms (one with "boy" decor and one with "girl" decor), and a comfortable area to have snacks.

As you can see, the colors are bright and cheerful; the facility is well lit; and kids can do the running and jumping and bouncing that kids need to do.

What you don't see is how the building has been reinforced. Not only has extra reinforcement been added to the structure itself, but each individual room within the "big blue box" has been reinforced as if it were a stand-alone bomb shelter. It's that extra that makes the kids -- and their families -- feel secure here.

I used to think JNF's job was growing trees. I guess they're in the business of "growing kids," too.

For more information about the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center, click here.

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