68
      Saturday
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      Carter's Kids: building memories one playground at a time

      Carter's Kids group, started by Traverse City native Carter Oosterhouse, is in Phoenix building a playground for children in need.

      Erika Erickson is in Phoenix with the Carter's Kids group to help build playgrounds for needy students.

      Academia Del Pueblo, or "Academy of the Town" has been open for 18 years and this is the first "new" thing they will have gotten.

      Carter's Kids is a non-profit organization started by Northern Michigan native Carter Oosterhouse and his wife, actress Amy Smart.

      "What we do at Carter's kids is we build playgrounds across the U.S. and the whole goal behind it is to inspire kids - but also to fight childhood obesity," Oosterhouse said.

      Carter's Kids began in northern Michigan with two playgrounds.

      "To tell you the truth, the one we did in Frankfort is one of my favorite builds we've ever done," Oosterhouse said. "Simple because it was a great playground - the whole community rallied around it."

      Now Carter's Kids is expanding across the country to give schools and neighborhoods a sense of community.

      "Our goal is to build more than what we do now," Oosterhouse said.

      Erika will be with Carter, his wife Amy and the whole program all week as they build the kids at Academia Del Pueblo as new playground.

      "I'm from Traverse City originally so it's great to have 7&4 here so we can share what we're doing all over the U.S. and what we're doing here in Phoenix back home to all of my friends and family in Traverse and around the area," Oosterhouse said.

      And as for another Carter creation in northern Michigan?

      "We WILL be back," Oosterhouse said. "We will be building more playgrounds there very soon!"