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Ready for Kindergarten “Are you going to Kindergarten?” One by one, a stream of five-yearolds, some shy, some smiling proudly, answered “yes!” They each received a t-shirt that said “Kindergarten Rules!” and walked into Please Touch Museum. Inside they found a group of kindergarten teachers waiting to welcome them, along with librarians, school administrators, dentists, Girl Scout troop leaders, and a very enthusiastic Pinky, one of PTM’s Puppet Pals, who was also getting ready for kindergarten. This year’s annual Kindergarten Mixer, held on August 4th, marked the 10th year the Museum has played host to incoming kindergartners and their families, hailing from all over the Greater Philadelphia region. They come here as the next-to-last stop on a transition journey that spans months and sometimes years, a last hurrah of excitement before boarding school buses and donning backpacks to start the school year. The Mixer is a celebration of school highlighting the informal education that defines early childhood learning and will remain central to shaping children’s development throughout their early schooling years. There is no rigid schedule for the Mixer; instead, families are encouraged to explore the Museum’s exhibits and pop in and out of the activities occurring throughout the building. Five-year-olds may be all grown up, but they still love to play.
Inside this issue: • FarmStand Fun • A Dreadfully Monstrous Mash
This year’s Kindergarten Mixer, presented by U.S. Airways and supported by UPS, brought 417 kindergartners and their families into the Museum for a night of fun, including a special theater show, in which Pinky asked for help getting ready for the first day of school. To wrap up the event, families, kids, teachers and volunteers all got together for a Kindergarten Pep Rally to cheer for the beginning of school. At the end of the night, each kindergartner received a backpack, courtesy of UPS, filled with supplies for school and home, and Pinky waved goodbye as a sea of yellow skipped, hopped, and twirled out the door on their way to becoming big kids.
• A New Partnership with Woodloch Resort --Claudia Setubal, Program Manager, Community Outreach
• Stroller in the Park 4 23 1 Aven u e of th e Rep ub l i c P hi l ad el p hi a, PA 19131
“ENRICHING THE LIVES OF CHILDREN BY CREATING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH PLAY.”
A Note from Your Friends in Play! With schools facing continual decreases in funding, corporations and other philanthropic organizations are forming partnerships with cultural institutions to increase educational opportunities in local communities. Our donors and sponsors truly make a meaningful and tangible difference in the lives of thousands of children and families. Many corporations have taken notice of these opportunities and are investing in community resources to create better early learning outcomes for all children. Please Touch Museum currently partners with more than 50 local and national corporations to fulfill our mission of enriching the lives of children by creating learning opportunities through play. For example, in 2013 US Airways became the first Presenting Sponsor of School Readiness at the Museum, providing $50,000 in funding for programs and events throughout the year, including our Summer Reading Initiative, Kindergarten Mixer, the Please Write Project, and Passport to Kindergarten. Target also pledged to support Target First Wednesdays, evenings that feature a deeply discounted admission price, ensuring that all children have access to the full range of out-of-school learning opportunities available at the Museum. Foundations are also opting to support education-based programming at this critical time. The Presser Foundation recently gave $7,500 for PTM to implement a new Musicianin-Residence program, thus expanding music education to audiences that may not otherwise have the opportunity due to the declining presence of the arts in schools. The Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Arts Education Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation supports PTM’s brand new historythemed theater show, “President Ulysses S. Grant and the Great Banana Mystery.” The Boeing Company and the Connelly Foundation extended the reach of this highly interactive theater show by contributing $20,000 and $30,000 respectively toward Experience Centennial Now!, a new program focused on the history of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition. Thanks to our community of supporters, the 550,000 visitors we receive each year and the 5,000+ families we reach through community outreach enjoy unequaled early learning experiences and access to one of the nation’s best children’s museums. We hope that you will continue to support Please Touch Museum and our mission of learning through play in the coming year.
Visitor Information Hours of Operation Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Phone: 215.581.3181 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.pleasetouchmuseum.org Development Office Phone: 215.581.3162 Fax: 215.581.3183 Email: email@example.com
Admission Members: Free Under the age of one: Free Children and Adults: $16 Facebook: Please Touch Museum Twitter: @pleasetouch
Stay Informed & Keep In Touch! If you have any questions or feedback about this issue of The Play-by-Play, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. And feel free to send us your stories about special moments at Please Touch Museum. Our history is made by your memories! Board of Directors Sally W. Stetson, Chairperson Susan M. Shea, Vice Chair Sandy Wax, Vice Chair Joseph Fanelli, Secretary Kristen Vieira Traynor, Treasurer Members Bruce Aronow David Buck Sharon G. Coghlan Leslie Gillin Ben Johnson Barbara Klock Ruth Hirshey Lincoln Colleen J. Rooney Kate Shields Juliet Greenfield Six Bennett Thomas
The Honorable Vincent Hughes, PA State Senator, represented by Marcella Daniels, Chief of Staff for Senator Vincent Hughes The Honorable Vanessa Lowery Brown, PA State Representative Michael DiBerardinis, Commissioner, Department of Parks and Recreation, Philadelphia represented by Mark A. Focht, Executive Director of Fairmount Park Alan Greenberger, FAIA, Director of Commerce, City of Philadelphia
Emeritus Nora Mead Brownell Elizabeth B. Cartmell, Immediate Past Chair Anne F. Hamilton Bruce Hooper Ex Officio The Honorable Michael Nutter, Mayor, L. Gie Liem City of Philadelphia represented by Lee A. Rosengard Valarie Allen, Esq. The Honorable Darrell Clarke, President, Philadelphia City Council, represented by the Honorable Curtis Jones, Jr., Council Representative, Philadelphia City Council, represented by Joshua Cohen, Special Assistant to the Majority Leader
Living Healthy is a Stroll in the Park
From the Toy Chest… “Rubber Ducky You’re the One,You Make Bath Time Lots of Fun…” While not quite a rubber duck, this Generous Gift shiny plastic purple bird demonstrates of Kelly Haims the great variety of duck toys that can now be found in Please Touch Museum’s Collection. Ernie, from Jim Henson’s Sesame Street, loved his Rubber Ducky and the Museum does too. To honor the rubber ducky, we are celebrating National Rubber Ducky Day on January 13! In celebration, we will be reprising our display of hundreds of ducks in River Adventures and having a rubber ducky giveaway for our young visitors. All children who visit that day will receive a rubber ducky of their own to take home as they leave the Museum.
Please Touch Museum’s 4th Annual Stroller in the Park on took place on Sunday, September 15, 2013. Stroller is an annual fundraiser that leads families on a 5K walk through Fairmount Park. At this year’s event, more than 370 guests took a stroll on a beautiful Sunday morning, kicked off with a morning stretch led by the Phillie Phanatic. Other highlights of the day included: Activity Stations located along the course, where families participated in fitness-related demonstrations with representatives from Fit4Mom Stroller Strides, CHOP’s Healthy Weight Program, Cerca Trova Yoga and Pro Martial Arts; the Health Pavilion, presented by Whole Foods Market, featuring valuable resources about healthy lifestyles; and the Hydration Station and Healthy Snacks Tent, highlighting family-friendly, nutritious snacks. Stroller is part of the Museum’s Get Up and Grow™ healthy lifestyles initiative. Get Up and Grow, created by the Museum in 2006, is a multiphase project that educates families about the importance of living a healthy life and how they can make healthier choices. This initiative addresses the full needs of children and their families, from nutrition and healthy eating choices to maintaining a steady regimen of physical activity. This year’s Stroller in the Park raised more than $29,000 for the Museum and Get Up and Grow. We appreciate the generous contributions made by our sponsors: Health Pavilion Whole Foods Market Finish Line Gie and Lisa Liem Hydration Station ABM Janitorial
Starting Line eLocal.com / Rockland Capital Target Morning Stretch Liza Cartmell Chadwick Service Company
CHOP Healthy Weight Program
The Jacobs Family Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel Special thanks to; Brulee Catering Procacci Brothers Select Event Rentals Tonbo Visual Promotions --Margaret Walker, Events and Special Projects Manager
--Faith McCarrick, Collections Coordinator
A Monstrous Evening The fog lights were set, cob webs were spun, and the joyful cheers of young ghouls filled the halls as Please Touch Museum held its 5th Annual Monster Mash Memorial Hall-O-Ween. Monster Mash, part of Please Touch Museum’s Get up and Grow Healthy Lifestyles initiative, helps families celebrate the holiday in a safe and fun way. More than 500 member families showcased their best Halloweeninspired costumes, trick-or-treating throughout the Museum and enjoying fun Halloween themed programming. Guests were treated to a performance by members of Living Arts Dance Ensemble, and danced the night away to tunes spun by house DJ Ashley Singletary, Please Touch Museum’s Program Coordinator. The night ended with a Grand Goodbye from Museum staff, PTM Puppet Pals, and visiting characters, and members taking home plenty of treats. We would like to thank the following organizations for their generous support of Monster Mash: Bimbo Bakeries, USA The Crayola Experience Coca-Cola Refreshments Doc Bresler’s Cavity Busters HESS Foundation, Inc.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Mainline AV International Montgomery County Immunization Coalition
On Q Productions Highlights for Children Magazine Reliable Photo Booths, Inc. Kohl’s Injury Prevention Program Girard Avenue Rita’s Water Ice Safe Kids Southeastern Pennsylvania Coalition
If you missed the opportunity to join us this year, please join us next year for another spooktacular time! - Joseph McKinnon, Membership Specialist
FarmStand Over the past few months, Please Touch Museum hosted its second year of FarmStand Fun evenings at Target First Wednesday, during which the Museum’s admission price drops to $2. These events, which were offered from 4-7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month from July through October, provided visitors with access to a farm stand selling affordable, fresh produce, as well as kid-friendly cooking demonstrations, fun and engaging fitness activities, nutrition programming, and health-related vendors. FarmStand is offered in partnership with Teens 4 Good, a program of the Federation of Neighborhood Centers. Teens 4 Good is a youth-led entrepreneurial farm and nutrition business that transforms vacant lots into urban gardens, improving access to healthy food for communities. A major focus of the program is to create meaningful jobs for at-risk youth, empowering them to become healthy, responsible stewards and leaders who give back to their communities. At FarmStand, Teens 4 Good offered locally grown, organic produce to our visitors, who had the option to pay with SNAP or ACCESS cards. Our visitors carried home their purchases with complimentary “Fill Up, Slim Down” shopping bags provided by United Healthcare. During each event, Chef Guillermo Veloso of Brûlée Catering conducted engaging food demonstrations utilizing the types of produce being offered at the farm stand. This aspect of the evening enabled young visitors to connect the food that they consumed with where it originated. These educational moments were reinforced through interactive, play-based nutrition programming. Finally, the fun fitness activities offered at each event featured local groups demonstrating a variety of ways to incorporate healthful movement into daily life. The groups invited in 2013 were Step by Step: A Stepping Workshop, Hula Hoop Starz Dance Troop, Soul Line Dancing, and ODUNDE365: African Dance and Drummers. To better understand the effectiveness and reach of the FarmStand offerings, customers were asked to participate in a survey. This survey registered visitor reaction to the stand and its produce, as well as its impact on visitors’ attendance. So far, visitor feedback has been extremely positive. Overall, the program was extremely well received in its second year and plans are in place to continue and expand the program next year. This program would not be possible without the support we receive from our partners, which include Agora Cyber Charter School, United Healthcare of Pennsylvania, and the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association.
Play Without Boundaries “I am so grateful that you run this program. It was our second time at the Museum but our first at Play without Boundaries. I LOVE the Museum, but I felt even more comfortable being there at Play without Boundaries. My 3 year old son is Autistic, so it is hard for him to enjoy himself in big crowds. At the same time, I have a typical 18 month old daughter and I don’t want her to miss out on fun opportunities. Thank you for thinking of kids who have special needs. It means a lot to us parents!” -- a parent who attended January 2013’s event Our next Play Without Boundaries access event will be held Sunday, January 19 from 9 to 11a.m. These events occur outside our normal operating hours and are open exclusively to families of children with special needs. We make every effort to create a comfortable and enjoyable experience; we turn off exhibit sound effects and dim the lighting to create a better environment for children with sensitivities to light and sound, and programming is specifically designed for children with special needs. The goal of these events, and our Play Without Boundaries initiative, is to ensure that all children and families feel welcome and comfortable in our museum. To help children with special needs prepare for their visit, we have made a Museum Stories document available on our website. This document describes a visit to Please Touch Museum from a child’s perspective, explaining all aspects of the experience, from the different exhibit zones and how they can play to where to locate restrooms and who to ask if they need help. You can view the Museum Stories on the Museum’s website at: http:// www.pleasetouchmuseum.org/planning_your_visit/accessibility/ documents/MuseumStories-2012.pdf Play Without Boundaries is proudly supported by the Hamilton Family Foundation and Pfizer.
--Faith McCarrick, Collections Coordinator
PTM Stories: Kindergarten Mixer Edition
Although Kindergarten Mixer might look like a big party, it also serves as an important developmental milestone for families. The event offers an opportunity for families to address social and emotional aspects of the transition to kindergarten, while finding peers and resources that can support them throughout the school year. Some families who attend the Mixer had this to say about the impact on their children: “This was a wonderful event to help the children get in the mood for their first day at kindergarten!! Thank you so much for helping to prepare them for a whole new environment and because of this, I believe [my son] will not be afraid to go and meet new people and learn.” “It was a great event! The t-shirt really made my son feel really excited and important. He loved going from table to table and seeing the puppet show. Most events we attend are for his older sister, but this day was all about him! He really left feeling special and is so excited for school!” “We are very excited. I wanted her to see that there are a lot of children starting Kindergarten and that she doesn’t have to be afraid because she’s a little worried about the big kids and leaving pre-school.”
--Claudia Setubal, Program Manager, School Readiness
PTM Partners with Woodloch Resort
Please Touch Museum is proud to welcome a new Corporate Partner, one of America’s best all-inclusive resorts, Woodloch Pines Resort. This past April, the Museum teamed up to present Woodloch Day featuring local author, Andy Myer. We were pleased to welcome more than 40 young children and their families for two special story time readings of Myer’s Delia’s Dull Day and Pickles, Please!. Many families chose to extend the hands-on learning and fun during “Arts and Literacy Weekend” at Woodloch Pines Resort in Hawley, PA. Andy Myer was joined by esteemed children’s authors, Nancy Viau and Jenna Glatzer, children’s nutritionist and author Lizzy Rockwell, and award-winning children’s musician, Eric Herman. The generosity of our Corporate Partners is integral to our successful implementation of unique early learning programs. For more information on Woodloch Pines Resort, visit www.woodloch.com. To learn more about becoming a Corporate Partners, contact Nora Banks at (215) 578-5139 or NBanks@pleasetouchmuseum.org.
From the Program Room This masterpiece was created by a junior artist in Please Touch Museum’s Elaine Wideman-Vaughn Program Room. The Program Room, located in the Southwest pavilion of Memorial Hall, features a variety of arts-based learning experiences, which are rotated on a monthly basis. It is open daily, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Sundays.
The Centennial Guild is Please Touch Museum’s VIP membership and giving program. Join or renew today and attend exclusive Centennial Guild Early Morning Openings, scheduled throughout the year. Members of the Centennial Guild enjoy all the benefits of a Premier Membership PLUS additional benefits designed to enhance museum experiences and provide for VIP treatment. Guild members receive exclusive entrance to the museum before and after hours, private VIP entrances to the museum on busy days like Countdown to Noon™ and member events such as Monster Mash! In addition, a portion of every Centennial Guild membership is a meaningful charitable donation in support of our Museum Access Programs, which provide free admission for families that are unable to afford to visit the museum. Centennial Guild members make a difference!
Celebrate New Year’s with the little ones without keeping them up until midnight! At Please Touch Museum, the ball drops at a family-friendly hour at our Countdown 2 Noon™, supported by Woodloch Pines Resort! Celebrate with special New Year’s Eve-themed activities, music, dancing, and more. The countdown features an interactive show that hones counting skills and number comprehension, all while learning through play. Join host King Countdown as he rings in the New Year PTM-style!
“We are delighted to support Please Touch Museum by becoming Centennial Guild members! They are an important member of the Arts Community in Philadelphia. Our additional contributions are opportunities for us to participate more fully, while giving our grandchildren the enjoyment of seeing their names on the exhibits and the pavers. They’re very proud of them, and we are too!” -Gloria Cascarino, Centennial Guild Member
To join, renew, or learn more about the Centennial Guild, please visit our website or contact Meg Clifton Mitchell, Director of Individual and Major Gifts, at email@example.com or (215) 581-3166.