Did you know that the building that houses KidsPlay's Main Gallery was originally built as a bank? The giant vault in the back may be a clue! We are excited to announce that we have transformed the vault into our newest exhibit, The Bank, and we recently held a ribbon-cutting to celebrate its grand opening!
Ribbon cutting ceremony - from left: Joann Ryan, NWCT Chamber of Commerce, Eileen Marriott, Museum Director, Ken Merz, President of KidsPlay, Edwin G. Booth, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Trustees Torrington Savings Bank, Lesa A. Vanotti, Torrington Savings Bank President & CEO, and John E. Janco, Sr., Torrington Savings Bank CEO Emeritus
We would like to thank everyone who helped make this exhibit possible. First and foremost, we would like to thank Torrington Savings Bank. Through long hours of collaboration with and through their financial support, the empty vault was transformed into an exhibit where children can:
- use dramatic play to take the role of the customer or banker at the drive-up window and teller station.
- learn to recognize coins and understand the relative value to each other.
- develop a financial vocabulary and to solve problems.
We would also like to thank the members of The Bank design committee and the volunteers who helped to bring the ideas of the committee to life:
Exhibit KidsPlay’s Board members, Val Vitalo and Ken Merz, and Torrington Savings Bank in collaboration with the Museum’s Education Team. The Teller Station was designed and built by volunteer John Beck. The car at the drive-up was designed and built by volunteer Ami Maritano. The masonry work was completed by Ramadan Klenja. The interactive “Depository & Piggy Bank” was a collaborative effort between Ken Merz, Andy Zaharek of Altek, Michael Carr, KidsPlay Exhibits & Facilities Manager, James Massaro, and Brian Donovan from O&G Industries, and Craig Windsor from Lines and Letters Design Co. The graphics and educational prompts were designed by Lois Logan and Val Vitalo in collaboration with Craig Windsor from Lines and Letters Design Co.
Andy Zaharek of Altek Electronics designed the electronics that are key to making the "Depository and Piggy Bank" work.
Most of all, we can't wait for you to come and explore the bank with your favorite children!
Learning about money is an important life skill. By "playing" in The Bank, there are many opportunities to introduce key concepts about saving, spending, and budgeting that build healthy money habits.
Children learn about banking and money through dramatic play at our drive-up teller window.
On the Money Wall child learn to recognize coins and understand the relative value to each other, count coin money to determine a fixed amount, and develop and use money language.
View from the back of The Bank showing the magnetic Money Wall and the inside of the Teller Station
John Beck designed and built the cabinetry for the Teller Station.