The Passing of Tennessee State Representative Lois M. DeBerry

For more than 40 years, Lois M. DeBerry served the citizens of the 91st District of Tennessee and the entire State. Today, she passed comfortably surrounded by family and friends. Representative DeBerry represented this community with passion and dedication across the nation and world. For her, there was no greater cause than serving. Children, her community, and most importantly her family, were her passions.

Her husband, Charles Traughber, son, Michael Boyer and other members of the Traughber/DeBerry family, have shared her for so many years with the world and ask for privacy at this time.

Arrangements are pending and will be announced when they are finalized.

About Rep. Lois M. DeBerry
Representative DeBerry grew up in Memphis and graduated from Hamilton High School and LeMoyne – Owen College. She was the first African-American female elected to the State Legislature from Memphis and Shelby County in 1972, and began her service in 1973. She was the longest serving member of the Tennessee House of Representatives. Representative DeBerry was the first female Speaker Pro-Tempore and the only African-American to serve in that capacity to date.

In addition to her son, she was a surrogate mother and mentor to many.

KaBOOM! and Aspire Public Schools to Build Custom Playground in Orange Mound

KaBOOM! and Aspire Public Schools will partner with more than 200 community volunteers to build a custom playground at Hanley Elementary School this Friday, July 19, 2013.

In less than six hours, community volunteers will transform the vacant space at Hanley Elementary into a kid-designed playground complete with slides, a rock-climbing wall and a flower garden.

Aspire Community Outreach Manager, Nickalous Manning encourages neighborhood volunteers to get involved with the project, “this playground is for the kids and the community; it’s something that everyone in Orange Mound can be proud of and I’m looking forward to seeing all 200 hands on deck to make it a success.”

The new playground will provide more than 750 children in the community with a safe place to play. Currently, the children do not have any play equipment on site.

KaBOOM! Project Manager, Jennifer Leshowner says, “We’re building this playground because the kids in Orange Mound need a place to play every day in order to be active and healthy. Kids today spend less time playing outside than any previous generation because only 1-in-5 children live within walking distance of a park or playground, which has negative physical, social and cognitive affects.”

About Aspire Public Schools:
Aspire Public Schools is a nonprofit organization that currently operates 34 high-performing, open-enrollment public charter schools serving 12,000 students in underserved communities across California and will open schools in Memphis, TN in fall, 2013. Aspire is one of the highest-performing public school systems in California, delivering a rigorous ‘College for Certain’ education to students in grades K-12. An unrelenting focus on college preparedness led to 100 percent of graduating Aspire seniors being accepted to four year colleges or universities in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Aspire offers a high-quality education in six cities throughout California: Los Angeles, Oakland, Stockton, Sacramento, Modesto and East Palo Alto. Visit Aspire Public Schools at

About KaBOOM!:
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. Social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America because children need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,300 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: A Movement to Save Play, now out in paperback. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has an office in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit