December 2023

Year 2024 smiling snowman in snow

Field News December 2023

Dear Friends of The Playing Field,

Iā€™d like to introduce you to my husband, Mel. He has long been an unofficial part of our School Family as he has frequently been volunteered (by me) to assist with many projects and events. He recently agreed to enter semi-retirement and drive the bus for children at our east side location.

In the photo, you canā€™t see Melā€™s face but, you can see the sheer delight of the little guy who has been thrown up over his shoulder. This photo was sent to me by a teacher. It warmed my heart to see my husband playing with this child as he once did with our children and still does with our grandchildren.

Many dads naturally engage in this kind of physical play known as ā€œrough and tumble play.ā€ Research shows the benefits for children include building of self-regulation, learning how to manage emotions and physical impulses, and creating strong bonds.

The research on early childhood is so fascinating. I especially love reading research on the importance of play in brain development. Our name, The Playing Field has two meanings. It is our mission to level the playing field by breaking barriers to access of high quality early care and education. We are also committed to the rights of children to play!

Many well intentioned adults believe that drilling young children with early academic skills is the answer to the achievement gap. However, research clearly shows that play builds the foundations for success in academics and human interactions.

Each day, our children and staff engage in play. At our family nights, we provide different opportunities for parents and children to play. Your support makes this possible and I wish that each of you could see the beautiful interactions and happy smiles that I see each day!

As always, I thank you for the investment of your time, interest and donations to The Playing Field!

I hope that your holiday season is happy and filled with opportunities to play!


Sensory Play Path Virtual Tour

Our dear friends at Cheramy Story Arts & Marketing have created a virtual tour of our sensory play path!

Our play path was custom designed and built to support the sensory needs of children. It is helpful for children impacted by trauma or sensory issues. It is also helpful for children on the autism spectrum.

You can view a three dimensional map of our play path. As you click on each stop along the path, you can view a short video explaining the benefits of the activity.

You can also view the full video about the sensory play path.

We are grateful for the Attic Angel Association as they spent much of 2019 raising the funds for this one of a kind space. We are also thankful to American Family Insurance for an unrestricted donation that allowed us to finish the project.

We also want to thank Cheramy Story Arts & Marketing for bringing this tour to life!

Conscious DisciplineĀ® Training Event


We will be hosting a two day Conscious DisciplineĀ® event with Latonia Marcellus and Amy Speidel.

Community leaders and other nonprofit organizations are invited on Friday, March 15th to learn about how Conscious DisciplineĀ® and the School Family Model can support equity and inclusion.

Educators including teachers and administrators are invited to attend on Saturday, March 16th for a discussion of how traditional models of discipline fail our most vulnerable children.

Watch for more information and please share with community members, nonprofit leaders, and educators!

The Playing Field Newsletter - Want to Help

Want to help?

We continue to raise funds for ongoing needs including scholarships for children. These scholarship funds assure that no child is ever denied access to our high quality program.

Please email info@playingfieldmadison.orgĀ for more information.

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