200 Community Volunteers Unite to Build a New Playground at the Community School of Excellence

200 Community Volunteers Unite to Build a New Playground at the Community School of Excellence

CSE LogoVolunteers from The Toro Company, JPMorgan Chase & Co., the Community School of Excellence, Hmong American Partnership and the community will join KaBOOM! on Thursday, September 13 to transform an empty site into a kid-designed, state-of-the-art playground in just six hours at the Community School of Excellence. The new playground will help make play an easy choice for kids and families in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The Twin Cities metropolitan area has roughly 70,000 Hmong residents. Saint Paul’s Hmong community is, statistically, the city’s most disadvantaged minority group and represents a significant portion of the population. As a community living in the U.S. for over 40 years, the Hmong continue to face unique challenges in their integration into American life. U.S. Census data from 2010 indicates that Hmong have some of the highest poverty levels in the state: Almost 60% of Hmong in Minnesota are low-income (compared with 22% of the general population) and almost 30% live in poverty (compared to 10% of the general population). These high poverty rates are attributed to low incomes, unemployment, underemployment, and other factors.

There are few opportunities for safe play for children growing up in neighborhoods impacted by such dire economic conditions, including the neighborhoods surrounding the Community School of Excellence. And play is essential to children’s physical, creative, cognitive, social and emotional development.

In July, kids from the surrounding community came together to draw their dream playground. The playground is based off their drawings and will provide more than 2,100 kids in St. Paul with a great, safe place to play.

Through this playground project, the Community School of Excellence and Hmong American Partnership will work with The Toro Company, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and KaBOOM! to make a difference in their community and address the most urgent needs of kids.

This September, the Community School of Excellence (CSE) began its 12th year of operation as a Minnesota charter school, with a combined elementary school and middle school enrollment of 1,400 students. This is a 695% increase in enrollment since our first year in 2007. The growth is a solid indicator of the school’s consistent academic support to students from staff, families, community partners and CSE’s authorizer.

This playground is part of a broader effort led by The Toro Company, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and KaBOOM! to ensure communities have great PLAYces for kids and families. It will be the thirteenth playground built by The Toro Company and the first by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Through this partnership, The Toro Company, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and KaBOOM! are creating an oasis where kids feel valued and loved, and where their potential is supported, nurtured and celebrated.

Thursday, September 13
8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. – Kick-off ceremony
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – Best viewing of playground construction
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Final construction phase
2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. – Ribbon-cutting ceremony       
(Times approximate)

Community School of Excellence
2700 Larpenteur Ave West
St. Paul, MN 55113

Hundreds of community volunteers
Hmong community leaders 

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world?s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com

About The Toro Company

The Toro Company (NYSE: TTC) is a leading worldwide provider of innovative solutions for the outdoor environment including turf maintenance, snow and ice management, landscape, rental and specialty construction equipment, and irrigation and outdoor lighting solutions. With sales of $2.5 billion in fiscal 2017, Toro?s global presence extends to more than 125 countries. Through constant innovation and caring relationships built on trust and integrity, Toro and its family of brands have built a legacy of excellence by helping customers care for golf courses, sports fields, public green spaces, commercial and residential properties and agricultural operations. For more information, visit www.toro.com.

About Community School of Excellence

The Community School of Excellence (CSE) is a K-8 Hmong language and culture charter public school located in North End Neighborhood of Saint Paul, Minnesota. The school was founded by a group of dedicated educators, parents and community leaders with a desire and passion to create a Hmong language and culture school that truly belonged to the community and provided a class education for all students. Hmong American Partnership is currently providing leadership and oversight of CSE. Most students at CSE come from the East Side and North End of Saint Paul, Midway-Frogtown, and surrounding suburban areas. Since its beginning, Community School of Excellence has dedicated its efforts in the pursuit of bi-lingual education, meeting the needs of an underserved population, bridging the achievement levels and promoting excellence in teaching.

About Hmong American Partnership

Hmong American Partnership is a nonprofit social service and community development organization founded in 1990 to address the needs of Minnesota’s growing Hmong refugee community. HAP’s mission is to empower the community to embrace the strengths of our cultures while achieving our potential. HAP has advanced to become a well-established non-profit provider of transformational, entrepreneurial, community-focused social services and economic development programs serving the broader immigrant and refugee community. HAP has 5 service sites and provides programming to clients in Ramsey and Hennepin County and the broader 7-county metro region. HAP serves approximately 15,000 clients annually.

About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids ? especially those living in poverty ? the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play. KaBOOM! inspires communities to make play the easy choice and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of PLAYces. KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build or improve more than 17,000 playspaces, engaged more than 1.5 million volunteers and served over 9 million kids. To learn why play matters for all kids, visit kaboom.org and join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom, facebook.com/kaboom and instagram.com/kaboom. #playmatters #PLAYceforKids 

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