December Family Night
Family nights are a special part of The Playing Field. These evenings provide an opportunity for families to gather and connect who might otherwise never meet each other.
On December 19th, The Playing Field hosted a Polar Express themed event. Children and adults were invited to wear pajamas and our space was beautifully decorated with trains and snow. The evening started with an icebreaker. Families participated in a pajama scavenger hunt. When their card was completely filled, they were able to turn it in to receive a copy of The Polar Express.
After dinner was served, there were activities set out for families to enjoy. There was a train available for photos. Children were encouraged to paint by rolling a jingle bell in paint. Each child received a bag of gingerbread play dough. There were also trees to decorate with frosting and sprinkles. A great time was had by all!
Family nights are always very well attended. The Playing Field is grateful for our families who make these events a priority. We are also thankful for volunteers from Bethany United Methodist Church who faithfully volunteer to help with set up, serving, and clean up. This allows our staff the opportunity to connect with families and this is what makes these nights so special!
Family Emergency Fund
For the last three years, children at The Playing Field have enjoyed a special connection with students from St. Ann’s School which is located in Stoughton. Teacher, Tonya Talbert learned about The Playing Field from our first Board Chair, Roger Bird. She was looking for a service project for her eighth grade students. Our program was a perfect fit as it offered St. Ann’s students the opportunity to serve the community and build relationships with children who have experienced adversity.
Tonya said this experience gives her students a broader perspective and a better understanding of the challenges others face. Her students are always impacted by their interactions with the children. She continued,
They talk about the children from the time we leave until it is time for our next visit. They value the relationships they build here.
Students from St. Ann’s come to The Playing Field four to five times each year. In addition to interacting with children in the classrooms, they also assist with projects such as raking leaves, sorting clothing, or preparing materials. Each December, St. Ann’s students bring holiday cheer to our children. On December 20th, they visited with a gift for each child. They also made a generous donation of $1,600 for our Family Emergency Fund.
We are so grateful for the relationship with St. Ann’s School!
100+ Women Who Care Madison
On December 3rd, The Playing Field was one of three nonprofit organizations chosen to present for 100+ Women Who Care Madison. Their website describes the group’s mission with this statement,
100+ Women Who Care was launched in 2014 and is based on the simple concept of bringing women together to make a large impact on their community. 100+ Women Who Care of Madison meetings are held four times a year where our members will raise (close to) $20,000 for a local charity in one evening.
Each of the three nonprofit groups was given five minutes to present on their mission and needs and five minutes to answer questions. Members of 100+ Women Who Care then voted and The Playing Field was selected as the winner for the the evening. As the winner, The Playing Field will receive $100 from each member of 100+ Women Who Care.
The money received will be used to fund scholarships for children to attend The Playing Field. Children under the age of three, qualify for Early Head Start Funding, However, they lose this funding and transportation services once they turn three. Scholarships are important and allow children to maintain their enrollment after their third birthday.
These funds will also help teachers receive specialized training on how trauma impacts the developing brain. This is essential for staff of The Playing Field as many of our students have been significantly impacted by trauma.
The Playing Field is very grateful for 100+ Women Who Care for this opportunity and to Lori Gibson who nominated us to present.