KidsPlay Children’s Museum at 61 Main St in Torrington, CT is pleased to announce that it was recently awarded a $50,000 grant by the LEGO COMMUNITY FUND U.S. These funds will be invested in the Museum’s education initiative to prompt a significant advancement in play-based programming for the core constituency of young children and their families in our community.
It is the mission of The LEGO Community Fund U.S. to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow to reach their potential by supporting programs benefitting children 0-14, primarily in the areas of learning, creativity or creative problem solving. They support programs in the U.S. communities where the LEGO Group operates, and will give preference to programs benefitting disadvantaged children.
KidsPlay was founded in 2012 by a group of community leaders that recognized the challenges that children and families face in the Northwest Connecticut region and the absence of a space for young children to experience hands-on learning through play. They also envisioned how the creation of such an important resource for families could positively impact the revitalization efforts of downtown Torrington.
The Museum has served more than 30,000 children and caregivers in the past 12 months. The Museum will now have an opportunity to infuse more developmental theory into the Museum’s exhibits, programs, and outreach through the addition of an educational learning experience specialist to the Museum’s staff.
Eileen Marriott, Museum Director states, “This investment comes at a time when the Museum is responding to the needs of our community and expanding the breadth of opportunities and experiences for children to grow their natural curiosity and problem-solving abilities”
Over the next year, KidsPlay plans to expand with the integration of 7,500 sq. ft. of the street level space available in the adjacent 69 Main Street building. The expansion will give the Museum the physical capacity to serve more families, expand programs, and add more exhibits. The education initiative will ensure the programs and exhibits meet the developmental needs of our core constituent of young children in our community.
Cathy Schmitz, Museum Co-founder said, “This initiative will give the Museum the opportunity to highlight the importance of creative play as a vehicle of learning and will support caregivers as active participants in a child’s play-to-learn activities.”
As KidsPlay Board Vice President and Torrington’s 2006 Teacher of the Year, Valerie Vitalo of Torrington said, “KidsPlay and LEGO are both committed to fostering the hands-on and minds-on approach to learning, creativity, and problem solving in children. Through this educational initiative, LEGO and KidsPlay will make a direct impact on the opportunities for these experiences in Northwest Connecticut.”
KidsPlay Children’s Museum is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. For more information about KidsPlay, please visit www.kidsplaymuseum.org.