More than 250 teens are preparing for Metro Atlanta Project’s (M.A.P.) 14th year of service to the city of Atlanta.  From July 13 to 19, youth and adult leaders from seven metro Atlanta churches, Uplift Ministries, and Wilderness Works will be re-building playgrounds for low-income daycare centers across the city of Atlanta.

“So many low-income daycare centers in Atlanta struggle to provide healthy and safe learning environments for children to play and grow due to financial difficulties, and here at M.A.P. we feel fortunate to be able to help out,” said William Newkirk, Director of M.A.P.

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. In addition, research has found that playgrounds are essential not only to a child’s physical strength, but mental well-being. Playgrounds help kids develop cognitive reasoning and problem solving skills as well as encourage them to use their imagination and creativity. Newkirk continued, “Playgrounds help resolve a number of underlining issues in our society today, while leaving a legacy for tomorrow.”

In 1999 M.A.P. began as a small summer project with 40 students doing minor home repairs for low-income and elderly Atlantans as well as organizing recreational activities for children, youth and senior citizen groups. From 2003-2010, M.A.P. focused on reroofing homes for elderly and low-income Atlantans. Beginning in 2011 and continuing in 2012 with 250 youth and 150 adult volunteers as well as some 40 corporate sponsors, M.A.P. has heard the call to an even greater need of rebuilding playgrounds so that the children of Atlanta may have a safe place to play and develop emotionally and physically. For more information, visit

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.