DEAR FRIENDS OF THE PLAYING FIELD,
We are excitedly awaiting spring! We will soon be breaking ground on several projects. There is a lot happening at our current location and we are making plans to open a second site.
While organizational growth is important, our core value will always be relationship. We know that strong emotional attachments build strong minds and help children to develop resiliency.
In addition to building relationships within our School Family, we are building relationships in our community and partnering with other organizations. We continue to partner with Early Head Start through Reach Dane. They gave us our start and we will always be grateful. We are strengthening our partnerships with other nonprofit organizations as well.
I hope you will enjoy this issue of our newsletter and follow us as we move ahead.
Wishing you all the best,
THE PLAYING FIELD IS GROWING
Those who follow our program know we have spent the last several years building a model for supporting children impacted by trauma. While we are proud of our work and grateful for the support we have received, we also know there are many more children in our community in need of our care. Each week, we turn away families and our current waitlist is filled through September of 2021.
It has always been our hope to replicate the model and we have recently been awarded the support needed to do that! Through grants from the City of Madison and United Way Dane County, we will be able to open an east side location!
Our partners at The Road Home of Dane County will be opening an east side housing development. We will be providing child care to families referred to us by The Road Home and The Salvation Army.
In September, we will open in a temporary location just off of East Washington Avenue. This site is close to the housing development and close to the larger site we plan to build.
Ultimately, we plan to move into a 15,000 square foot building that will be housed in a building owned by Plumber’s Union Local 75. This will not only allow us to serve an additional 100 children but, provide parents of our children with an amazing opportunity to get training in a skilled trade!
The priority for right now is getting our temporary location ready by September. We have several projects there including painting, laying new floors, adding a warming kitchen, and improving the outdoor space.
If you belong to a group who does community service projects, we would value your assistance! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2019, our friends at the Attic Angel Association celebrated the130th birthday of their organization. They raised over $74,000 for us to improve our current playgrounds.
We have a beautiful design ready for repairing and expanding our infant-toddler playground. We are also working on the design for our special sensory play space that will provide special support to children impacted by trauma.
Several students from the University of Wisconsin’s Occupational Therapy Program have joined our efforts as part of their class project. They are assisting us with designing our sensory play space and will add components that provide different opportunities for sensory input and output. They are also developing written materials for us to use in training our staff on how to use this unique space.
It is really amazing to see what can be accomplished when people work together!
We will also have a need for volunteers on these projects so, let us know if you’re interested in working with us.
FEBRUARY FAMILY NIGHT
Our February Family Night was a huge success! As always, the event was well attended and we packed the fellowship hall of Bethany United Methodist Church.
Our wonderful, faithful volunteers from BUMC help to prepare, serve and clean up the food. This is such a gift for our staff as they are able to sit down and enjoy a meal with their children and families.
The theme of the night was science. Everyone enjoyed a milk experiment, making lemon volcanos and cloud dough. Children explored with colored vinegar and baking soda. There was also a make and take activity and each family left with their own sensory sticks.
Many thanks to Mykenzie, our Center Based Family Specialist for all the planning that went into this event, to our amazing cook, Emme Thorpe, and to our entire staff! We have an amazing school family!
CONSCIOUS DISCIPLINE TRAINING COMING TO MADISON!
With Eagle’s Wing Child Care, The Playing Field is thrilled to bring the week long Conscious Discipline Summer Institute to Madison! This training has been key in our ability to work with children impacted by early adversity. The focus on zero to three will support attendees in their understanding of how early attachments build brains and develop resiliency.
Please share this with those in early education and related fields!
HELP SUPPORT OUR EMERGENCY FUND!
Enjoy delicious food in a fun atmosphere along with your family and friends while 10% of sales will help support The Playing Field’s Family Emergency Fund.
DATE: MARCH 30TH, 2020
TIME: 11AM – 9 PM
BUCK AND HONEY’S MONONA
800 W. BROADWAY #300 MONONA, WI 53713
From time to time, people ask about donating used goods. While we greatly appreciate the thought, it is often not practical for us to receive such items.
WAYS TO BE HELPFUL
Gas or Grocery Gift Cards – We keep gift cards on hand to help families during difficult times. Even cards with a small amount are helpful.
Items from our Amazon Wish List – Our teachers put items that they would like to receive on the wish list. When these items arrive, it is like a birthday or holiday celebration! (The teachers are often as thrilled as the children!)
Packages of New Underwear – New, child-sized underwear is always needed and appreciated.
Volunteer – If you have time to volunteer, there are many ways to get involved. Consider the following opportunities: Help a teacher on our next staff work day, assist with prepping classroom materials, volunteer in the office or in classrooms.
THE NO THANK YOU LIST
Used Books – When we receive books, we have to have a staff person go through them to assure that they are culturally relevant and reflect the values of our School Family. We are also limited on storage space so, having multiple copies of each book can cause a challenge.
Clothing – Storage space is always a challenge in early childhood programs. In fact, we pay to rent storage space so that our classrooms can rotate furniture and materials. While we do occasionally see needs for clothing, we just don’t have the space to store items until a need arises. When we need clothing, we post the needed item along with the size on our Facebook page.
Car Seats – Due to concerns related to recalls and expiration dates, we can not accept used car seats. We also are unable to determine if seats have been involved in an accident.
Toys – Used toys are another item that we can not receive. We may not able to confirm the appropriate age for materials. Pieces are often missing and/or broken and we must devote staff time to assessing the condition of items.