Samuel Walker Houston Elementary New Playground Build

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Community Mobilizes for Playground Build at Samuel Walker Houston Elementary: Call for Volunteers

Last Updated: June 20, 2023

Volunteers from Huntsville ISD, Samuel W. Houston Elementary and the Powell Foundation are building a kid-designed playground that will spark joy and foster a sense of belonging for kids in the Samuel W. Houston Elementary neighborhood. This is part of a nationwide effort led by KABOOM! to end playspace inequity – the reality that far too many children – especially children of color – do not get the chance to play on a playground, something that should be part of every child’s life. Their work is to ensure every kid can experience the numerous physical, social, and mental health benefits of play regardless of background or where they live. In 2022, KABOOM! launched the 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity, the five-year initiative to accelerate efforts towards achieving their mission to end playspace inequity for good across the United States. This project represents progress in ensuring every kid has a place to play, providing a state-of-the-art playground for more than 400 children to enjoy each year.

Community members led the creation of the playground, from design to installation. In April, kids from Samuel W. Houston Elementary shared drawings of their dream playspaces with project organizers. These ideas were integrated into the new playground design.

The project is a part of the Powell Foundation’s commitment to support the creation of accessible public spaces where children and families can connect, play, and learn.

To learn how partners can join KABOOM! in their efforts to end playspace inequity, visit

About Huntsville ISD

The mission of Huntsville Independent School District is to establish a partnership with students, parents, and the community to provide an equitable education system characterized by a safe environment and academic excellence to empower all students with knowledge, competencies, and personal qualities to live and work successfully as lifelong learners and responsible citizens with a global perspective.

Huntsville Independent School District is committed to Building Champions — in and out of the classroom. Through academic rigor and well-designed programs, HISD strives to meet the educational and emotional needs of ALL students.  Offering a full day Pre-K, advanced academics, and early college opportunities along with a wide variety of extra-curricular activities, students are achieving.  In addition to traditional learning, HISD offers personalized learning options through virtual magnet and flexible alternative education programs. Exposure to fine arts begins in early elementary with choir, dance, and theatre arts available to secondary students where creativity can be expressed, and talents showcased through exceptional performances. The Hornet band program can’t be beat!  Hundreds of students participate in the intermediate and middle school bands learning the basics on their way to a spot in the acclaimed HHS Military Marching Band. With over 200 members, our band is rich in tradition, excellence, and pride – routinely competing at superior levels. We are also proud of our championship athletic programs, offering 11 different sports for male and female student athletes. More than 700 students are involved in athletics annually, with teams and individuals excelling far beyond their regular seasons – many clinching District to State-level titles in real Texas UIL sports. Promoting college and workforce readiness is the focus of the HISD Career & Technical Education Program (CTE). We offer an array of CTE courses all aligned with one or more of the Texas Education Agency recognized career clusters along with numerous options to obtain industry-based certifications such as Cosmetology, Certified Nursing Assistant, and Welding, all to help make students more marketable.  With millions and millions of dollars in scholarships awarded to our seniors annually, Hornet graduates can compete with students from anywhere whether they choose to attend a 2-year college, 4-year university, or join the military or workforce. Success depends heavily on parent and community involvement and HISD is proud of the many positive volunteer, mentor, faith-based, business, and Sam Houston State University partnerships that provide necessary support for our students. 

HISD is Building Champions. Every One.  Every Day.

About the Powell Foundation

The Powell Foundation is a private, Houston-based family foundation focused on improving the lives of Harris, Travis, and Walker County residents. The Foundation seeks to foster community well-being by empowering children, families, and individuals with the conditions, supports, and skills necessary to thrive. It is especially focused on supporting the entire public education continuum, from early childhood development through post-secondary education completion. Visit for more information.


KABOOM! is the national nonprofit committed to ending playspace inequity – the reality that quality places to play are not available to every child, especially in communities of color. Since 1996, KABOOM! has partnered with kids and communities to create or transform 17,000+ playspaces and ensure that nearly 12 million kids have equitable access to the critical benefits and opportunities that playspaces offer. In 2022, KABOOM! launched the 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity to accelerate its mission in 25 high-priority locations over five years. Learn more at or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Original Story Posted by Hello Huntsville:

Samuel Walker Houston Elementary School is getting a new playground, and they’re calling on community members for help. Between June 20th and 23rd, 2023, the school, in conjunction with the Powell Foundation and KABOOM!, aims to transform their outdoor space into a fun, engaging area for the students to enjoy.

The school seeks approximately 100 volunteers over the course of the four-day project, with 25 individuals needed each day from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Participants will range from members of the Huntsville Independent School District community to anyone who’s willing to lend a hand. All skill levels are welcome, but it should be noted that those under the legal working age will not be permitted to participate.

The school has made provisions to accommodate all volunteers. The site at Samuel Walker Houston Elementary, located at 1641 7th St, Huntsville, TX 77320, will provide gloves and other safety materials necessary for the project. Also provided will be snacks, lunch, and bottled water, generously donated by local businesses.

Volunteers should arrive prepared for the weather, wearing closed-toe shoes and clothes suitable for outdoor work. Valuables should be left at home as secure storage is not available on-site.

The event will operate within strict guidelines to ensure the safety, comfort, and respect of all participants. Work will be collaborative, with the use of respectful, family-friendly language required. On-site staff will be on hand to address any unsafe or inappropriate behavior and requests made by them must be complied with. The guidelines also stipulate that only pre-approved power tools can be used, no youth are allowed in active construction areas, and there is a strict no smoking, alcohol, drugs, or firearms policy on the premises.

An added bonus for volunteers is the chance to win various prizes. To make it more convenient for parents to participate, SWHE staff members will be on hand to supervise children. Volunteers can register at

The hard work and dedication of the volunteers will be celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the last day of the project, June 23, at 2:30 PM. This will signify the completion of the new playground and will honor the efforts of the community in making it happen.

The construction of the new playground at Samuel Walker Houston Elementary School is an exciting event that showcases the strength and unity of the Huntsville community. It not only promises to provide a vibrant new play space for the students but also brings together individuals from various walks of life in shared purpose and camaraderie. The school and its partners look forward to seeing many volunteers at the build site come June 20th.

Click here for the Samuel Walker Houston Elementary School homepage.

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