Everyday Learning Play Spaces Update!
By: Sarah Vrabic, Project Manager, PEC Everyday Learning Play Spaces (ELPS)
The ELPS team is making excellent progress so far! As a reminder, our project goal is to increase the developmental friendliness of emergency housing programs in Philadelphia. We will accomplish this goal by implementing playful learning installations and child friendly spaces that facilitate more positive parent child interactions and learning through play for families staying in these programs.
In our first year of this three-year initiative, we are working with Darlene Morris Love & Care, Families Forward Philadelphia, Jane Addams Place, and Woodstock Family Center. We are currently deep in our staff engagement process,
surveying, and meeting with staff at all levels of these agencies to better understand their values and aspirations for the children they serve regarding play, learning and development, and families’ most urgent needs. Here is one staff response when asked, “What memories and lessons did you learn through play? Which ones would you like to see passed on to the children staying here?”
“When I was younger, I gained a great imagination through play. I also gained friendships through play. To the children at [program name], I would like to pass along the power of a great imagination.”
Our engagement with staff and families at each program will provide the design ideas and inspiration. Our installations and spaces will be unique to each provider agency involved, based on that program’s needs and values and most importantly, the feedback from families and staff.
Thank you to the William Penn Foundation for their generous support and funding our work. Stay tuned next month where we will showcase our creative and fun family engagement process!
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