Page 1


N E W S F O R S U P P O R T E R S O F P L E A S E T O U C H M U S E U M ® AT M E M O R I A L H A L L

Lights, Camera, ACES!


On Tuesday, October 25, we hosted our first-ever film premiere at the Museum. The students in our Achievement through Community Service, Education, and Skill-building (ACES) program collaborated with Lil’ Filmmakers to create a public service announcement. The premiere event was attended by the ACES students, their families, Please Touch Museum staff, and R. Andrew Swinney, President of the Philadelphia Foundation, a supporter of the ACES program.


ACES with Andrew Swinney; Caption: The ACES Students with Youth Programs Manager Jamella Flamer, Janine from Lil’ Filmmakers, and R. Andrew Swinney, President of the Philadelphia Foundation

Inside this issue: • The 2011 Great Friend to Kids Awards • The Return of the Enchanted Colonial Village • All Aboard for Railway Play • Counting Down to Countdown to Noon™ 4 23 1 Aven u e of th e Rep ub l i c P hi l ad el p hi a, PA 19131

ACES is Please Touch Museum’s year-round, work-based learning and mentoring program for youth from Philadelphia high schools. Each year, 14 students participate in group projects, host guest speakers, receive academic support and college preparation, and, each summer, mentor at Please Touch this T Owork U Cwith H aMstaff US EUM ® AT MMuseum. E M O RForI A Lproject, H A Lthe L students were asked to choose a subject for which they would create a short film; they chose to make their film about flash mobs and youth violence. Janine from Lil’ Filmmakers worked with the ACES for two hours, twice a week this past summer. Once they had their idea, they were responsible for every aspect of the film: writing, acting, directing, editing, and even the lighting and sound engineering. Over the course of six weeks, all 14 students worked collaboratively and cooperatively as they learned the technical aspects of filmmaking under Janine’s guidance. In the film, the ACES students express their opinions about teen violence with great intelligence and candor. Teens today face important and character-shaping moral choices every day, and the ACES serve as a model of the responsible and considerate citizens we hope all our children will grow to become. They show a mature understanding of the issues that youth face and a commitment to making the right decisions for themselves and their communities. The ACES advocate taking responsibility for one’s own actions, not following the destructive example set by just a few individuals. The film may be viewed on the Museum’s YouTube channel, at: We would like to thank the ACES students for all their hard work, Janine from Lil’ Filmmakers, and R. Andrew Swinney and the Philadelphia Foundation for their commitment to the ACES program.

“Enriching the lives of children by creating learning opportunities through play.”

A Note from Your Friends in Play

home for the

holidays! Greetings from Memorial Hall! The days are shorter, the breeze is colder, and a pot of our favorite warm beverage is bubbling on the stove—it’s winter in Philadelphia.

There’s a lot to be thankful for this season. We recently honored five individuals and organizations at our 16th Annual Great Friend to Kids Awards. There are exciting plans ahead for the Centennial Exploration exhibit. The Enchanted Colonial Village is back for its annual appearance, bringing its vibrant scenes of colonial life to the Museum. And, of course, Countdown to Noon™, our annual New Year’s celebration for the whole family, will be held on Dec. 31. You can read all about these events and more in this issue.

To help you plan for your seasonal sojourns, our upcoming holiday hours are: Christmas Eve Saturday, December 24: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Christmas Day Sunday, December 25: CLOSED New Years Eve Saturday, December 31: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. New Years Day Sunday, January 1: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

We hope to see you at the Museum during this holiday season.

Don’t forget to play today! Laura H. Foster President & CEO Please Touch Museum

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: Web:

Admission Members: Free Under the age of one: Free Children and Adults: $15 Facebook: Please Touch Museum Twitter: @pleasetouch

Stay Informed & Keep In Touch! If you have questions or feedback about this issue of The Play-by-Play, please email 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 Elizabeth B. Cartmell, Immediate Past Chair Ruth Hirshey Lincoln, Vice Chair Kristen Vieira Traynor, Treasurer Joseph Waterman, Assistant Treasurer Woody Rosenbach, Secretary Hallee N. Adelman Bruce Aronow Fritz Bittenbender Michele D. Box The Honorable Blondell Reynolds Brown David Buck Sharon G. Coghlan Joseph Fanelli Mark Felger Kathy Galarneau Leslie Gillin Anne F. Hamilton Andrew Kaplan Barbara Klock L. Gie Liem Nancy Peterson Marianne C. Raphaely Patricia Sanford Julie Savitch Susan M. Shea Juliet Greenfield Six Bennett Thomas Sandy Wax

Ex Officio The Honorable Michael Nutter represented by Valarie Allen. Esq. The Honorable Anna Verna represented by The Honorable Curtis Jones, Jr. The Honorable Vincent Hughes represented by Marcella Daniels The Honorable Vanessa Lowery Brown Michael DiBerardinis Department of Parks and Recreation, Philadelphia represented by Mark A. Focht Alan Greenberger Leroy Nunery, II, Ed.D. Lorna Horsey Emeritus Nancy D. Kolb, President Emeritus Portia Sperr, Founding Executive Director Nora Mead Brownell Bruce Hooper Lee A. Rosengard, Esq. Development Office Phone: 215.581.3162 Fax: 215.581.3183 Email:

Dave Roberts

We are pleased to announce this year’s winners, who were chosen by a Selection Committee chaired by Charisse Lillie, Vice President, Community Investment, Comcast Corporation, and President, Comcast Foundation:

Dave recently retired from his position as weatherman and broadcaster for WPVI – TV 6 ABC, concluding a career that spanned 33 years. Well known in the region for his affable personality, Dave is active in many charitable organizations, including the Variety Club, Catholic Charity Drives, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Lupus Foundation, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and others. Dave is also a Fourth Degree Knight of the Knights of Columbus, a charitable organization based in Connecticut. The Central Delco Lodge #2438, Order of Sons of Italy in America selected Dave as its recipient for their “Man of the Year Achievement Award” for his outstanding service to the community. Dave was also honored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association for 35 years of service. He was selected by the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia as its “Person of the Year” and was inducted into their Hall of Fame. In May of 2004, Dave was awarded the Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award from the Boy Scouts for “unselfish service to the youth of America.” In addition, Dave is a great, personal friend and consistent supporter to the Museum. In 2008, he engineered a last-minute schedule shift so he could be Master of Ceremonies at the Museum’s Opening Gala.

ConKerr Cancer Cindy Kerr, the founder of ConKerr Cancer, is dedicated to supporting children and families who are battling serious illnesses. Her son, Ryan, was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer in 2002 and began extensive treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Cindy began to make vibrant, fun pillowcases to brighten up his hospital room. Her gesture received such a positive response that she began making pillowcases for other children in the Oncology Unit. Over the next five years, as Ryan was in and out of the hospital for subsequent treatments, the pillowcase project grew into ConKerr Cancer: A Case for Smiles. Since its inception, ConKerr Cancer has delivered over 415,000 pillowcases to sick children in hospitals across the country, including 80,000 in greater Philadelphia. More than 125 chapters have been established worldwide, serving children in over 225 hospitals. ConKerr Cancer continues to expand their efforts to brighten patients’ lives and raise awareness about childhood cancer.

Fresh Artists Pictured here froa left to right are this year’s award recipients; former 6 ABC broadcaster Dave Roberts, Cindy Kerr- founder of ConKerr Cancer, Martin Friedman- Executive Director of EducationWorks, Founders Award winner- PTM’s immediate past Board Chair Elizabeth Cartmell and Barbara Chandler Allen- co-founder of Fresh Artists.

On Thursday, November 10, 2011, Please Touch Museum was proud to host the 16th annual Great Fried to Kids Awards (GFTK). The ceremony was conducted in Please Touch Museum’s Hamilton Hall and was attended by the award recipients, their friends and families, and donors and friends of the Museum. Hosted by Michele Lepe, who plays Nina on Sprout’s Good Night Show, the event featured speeches by all award winners, a toast from Mayor Michael Nutter, and a fabulous dinner, courtesy of Presenting Sponsor and exclusive Museum caterer Brûlée Catering by Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix (formerly Max & Me Catering and Culinary Concepts Catering). The Event Committee was chaired by Sandy Wax, President of Sprout. The Great Friend to Kids Award was instituted in 1991 by the Association of Children’s Museums to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions toward strengthening education for children. Please Touch Museum began presenting its own award in 1996 to coincide with the Museum’s 20th birthday. Past award recipients include: the Philadelphia Eagles Youth Partnership; Alex Scott, Founder of Alex’s Lemonade Stand; the Phillie Phanatic; the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program; NBA All-Star Dikembe Mutombo; and Carter and Pat Merbreier of Captain Noah and His Magical Ark; and philanthropist and PTM Board Member Anne Hamilton, among others.

Seeing a need for art supplies and programs in under-resourced public schools, Barbara Chandler Allen founded Fresh Artists, an organization which aims to empower young lives through art. Fresh Artists invites artists, grades K-12, to donate artwork to be reproduced as highresolution digital photographs. Corporations and individuals are encouraged to fund the delivery of art supplies and programs to public schools in need, and as a thank-you, they receive a piece of artwork. In addition to creating a successful, business model of philanthropy through the arts, Barbara’s vision is that Fresh Artists makes invisible children visible and helps a larger community recognize their shared humanity through children’s art. In just three years, Fresh Artists has delivered more than $117,000 in arts supplies, and has installed over 900 signature images in corporations from Oregon to Washington DC.

Education Works, accepted by Martin Friedman, Executive Director Education Works, accepted by Martin Friedman, Executive Director EducationWorks is dedicated to enriching the lives of Philadelphia area children, youth, and families who live in poverty. Since 1994, its staff and AmeriCorps members have provided programs during the school day, before and after school, and during the summer to students from kindergarten through high school. Its programs have focused on academic achievement, personal and social development, school climate, and post-secondary readiness. EducationWorks also operates an Early Learning Center for infants and toddlers, designed specifically for low income working parents in North Philadelphia. EducationWorks is currently in 65 schools helping 15,000 children every year. While often focusing on children and youth with the greatest difficulties and challenges, its students’ accomplishments have been phenomenal, from highly truant students cutting their absenteeism in half, significantly improving standardized test scores, being promoted and graduating at higher-than expected rates, to changing their schools’ and classrooms’ climates to ones in which they are actively engaged and help reduce conflict. (continued on following page)

And, the winner of the Founder’s Award: Elizabeth B. Cartmell As an eminent member of Philadelphia’s corporate and non-profit communities, Liza has been a tireless advocate for the children of this city. She began her career at Aramark in 1989, in Corporate Treasury and then joined the Sports and Entertainment division as CFO in 1994; she became the division’s president in 2002. She first joined Please Touch Museum’s board of directors in 1994 and served as its chair from 2005 – 2010. The leadership abilities she cultivated throughout her career proved invaluable to the Museum. As the board chairperson during a time of monumental expansion and transition, she helped usher the Museum through the many challenges that arose on the way to its new home at Memorial Hall. Her guidance and advocacy on behalf of the Museum, as well as her passion for its mission of learning through play, truly makes her a great friend to kids. Liza was recently named the CEO of the Atlantic City Alliance, a not for profit dedicated to expanding Atlantic City’s image as a resort destination which is part of an effort to revitalize the nation’s second-largest gambling destination. Liza’s leadership experience and determination will be a wonderful asset to this $30 million-a-year marketing and promotion campaign.

Autism Access On Sunday, January 22, Please Touch Museum will host its first Autism Access event of 2012. Autism Access is a time for families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to visit the Museum outside of normal operating hours, in conditions more suitable to their needs. Between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM that morning, the Museum will be open exclusively to families of children with ASD. These events are intended to help children with ASD acclimate to the museum environment and provide a more comfortable and enjoyable setting for their visit. The Museum hosted its first Autism Access event in August 2011, with support from the HollyRod Foundation. Please Touch Museum’s Autism Access program provides families of children with ASD with innovative tools to enhance their experience at the Museum. The program creates a comprehensive welcoming structure for families of children with ASD through accessibility tools for families of children with ASD; specialized training focusing on children with ASD and their behavioral patterns; mobile programming allowing children who would otherwise not be able to visit the Museum to interact with Please Touch-themed games and toys; special Autism Access events; as well as a selection of games and toys designed for children with ASD in the Kids Store.

As one of the Museum’s primary fundraising events, we are pleased to announce that this year’s Great Friend to Kids Awards was the most successful in the history of the Museum! This year’s event raised a total of $195,940 in support of the Museum’s educational programs and services. This is a significant increase from last year’s total of $156,450. Please Touch Museum would like to extend a special thank you to this year’s Presenting Sponsor Brûlée Catering, as well as Platinum Sponsors Day & Zimmermann and WPVI-TV/6abc, and Gold Sponsor Media Active Inc., as well as our Silver and Bronze sponsors, in addition to those who purchased Special Friend tickets, placed ads in our Program Book, or made a Special Donation. For a complete listing of our generous sponsors, please visit: Your generosity is truly inspiring and helps the Museum continue to offer programs and services of the highest caliber. We would also like to thank those who served on the 2011 GFTK Awards Selection Committee and the 2011 GFTK Awards Events Committee. This event could not have been a success without your tireless efforts. Thank you all!

Pictured left to right: PTM Executive Vice President Concetta Bencivenga, Senator Robert Casey, and PTM President & CEO Laura Foster

In October 2011, Robert P. Casey, Jr., United States Senator for Pennsylvania, visited Please Touch Museum to participate in a discussion with parents about the realities of raising a child with ASD, the resources available to families, and what the government can further do to support families of children with ASD. Looking for a venue in which to stage this meeting, the Senator reached out to Please Touch Museum, in recognition of our work on behalf of the autism community. For more information about Please Touch Museum’s accessibility programs, visit our website at:

Full STEAM Ahead Please Touch Museum is excited to announce that we were one of the organizations selected by PNC to receive funding to create financial literacy programming for children. As part of their “Grow Up Great” initiative, PNC awarded the Museum a $200,000 grant to launch a two-year financial literacy program. The program will utilize a curriculum developed by Sesame Workshop, “For Me, For You, For Later: First Steps to Spending, Sharing, and Saving.” The goal of the program is to teach children basic concepts in financial literacy—like spending, saving, investing, and sharing—through playful, interactive programs. Elements of the curriculum will be incorporated into different aspects of Please Touch Museum’s programming, both in the Museum and in the community.

This upcoming financial literacy program aligns with our increasing focus on STEAM topics: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. Over the next year, the Museum will be making STEAM learning a priority. There has been substantial effort from a variety of sectors devoted to improving the quality of STEAM learning opportunities for young children in the US, and we are excited to contribute to this movement. To help in this effort, the Museum has created a new position in our Education Department, STEAM Coordinator. This new position will be responsible for creating STEAM programming that correlates with the Museum’s educational mission of creating learning opportunities through play. Leading this program initiative will be Please Touch Museum’s new Vice President of Education and Family Learning Trapeta Mayson. Trapeta has an extensive background in direct service and social work, as well as experience managing programs for children. She earned a Master’s degree in Social Service from the Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Research, in Rosemont, PA. She is additionally a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, by the PA State Board of Marriage and Family Counseling. Prior to joining the Museum, Trapeta worked as a Supervisor of Social Work Service at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

All Aboard for

Railway Play at Please Touch Museum! useum’s e To u c h M





Choo Choo Challenge

Through December, visitors to Please Touch Museum can enjoy a Philadelphia holiday tradition: the annual display of the Enchanted Colonial Village! During this span visitors can see the Watchmaker, the Baker, the Toymaker, and other winter scenes in the Northeast Pavilion, adjacent to Rainforest Rhythm. The Enchanted Colonial Village was created for Lit Brothers’ Department Store in Philadelphia, where it debuted to the public in 1962. The ¾ size village was displayed annually at the Department Store for 15 years, until the Store closed. Following the closure, the Village was given to the Smithsonian, as a culturally significant object, and put into storage. Various efforts to restore and display components of the Village were made throughout the 1980s and 1990s, most notably by Longwood Gardens and the Atwater Kent Museum, who displayed the full Village in 1994. After this display, the Village was put back into storage. It was not until 2000 that Please Touch Museum joined the effort to preserve this unique Philadelphia treasure. The Museum received an $800,000 grant from the Philadelphia Foundation—the largest single grant award in the Foundation’s history—to restore all the scenes and figures, so that it could once again be displayed each holiday season. “The display celebrates the nation’s colonial past, in which Philadelphia played a central role,” said Philadelphia Foundation’s President R. Andrew Swinney. “It also highlights the festivity of the holiday season and the powerful bonds created through shared traditions. Parents can enjoy again – with their own children -- an experience that heralds the arrival of a time of wonder and delight.” “The Philadelphia Foundation has been proud to support Please Touch for all the contributions it makes to improving the quality of life in the region,” Swinney said. “We know the experiences that young visitors have in the Museum will not only help to widen their horizons through educational play, but will also create lasting fond memories. The region benefits from a place where youngsters can safely discover, explore, and learn.” Please Touch Museum would like to extend a special thanks to the Philadelphia Foundation for their support of the Enchanted Colonial Village and other Museum programs and initiatives.

Please Touch Museum is pleased to announce the construction of Railway Play, our new, train-inspired exhibit space! Children of all ages and abilities will be able to engage in cooperative play as they assemble, schedule, and operate their own trains, transporting passengers to and from the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in our Centennial Exploration exhibit.

The space will feature all-new exhibit components, including: • a ticket booth, where children can role-play and experience purchasing tickets, reading, and changing the schedule of times and destinations, and more • a train car, modeled after the styles of 1876 • a train table, a large structure modeled after a train that will have multiple play tables, an engine, a caboose, and two cargo cars that will allow children to walk through and discover collection cases inside • people & luggage, featuring dress-up and objects to explore • technology train, featuring electric trains that children can operate

Thanks to a generous grant from the 25th Century Foundation, Please Touch Museum has successfully started to build this expansion, but we need your help to raise an additional $15,000! Please join the Choo Choo Challenge and donate today! To thank you for your support, we will include your listing on the exhibit– a perfect way to memorialize your commitment to Please Touch Museum, our mission of learning through play and a love for trains. Visitors for generations will be able to see how you supported imagination and helped inspire the next generation of railway engineers! Please visit us online: for more information or to make a donation. You may also contact Margaret Walker, Events and Special Projects Coordinator, at (215) 581-3175 or

Ten Reasons to Look Forward to TM

This December 31, Please Touch Museum will host the annual Countdown to Noon™ New Year’s celebration! In the spirit of the season, here are ten reasons to be excited for this year’s event: Two Chances to Count Down: There will be


Countdowns at 12:00 and 1:00 in Hamilton Hall. The more, the merrier!

Mummer Dress Up: Don a costume and strut your stuff in the Creative Dramatics Playcorner in our Program Room.


Storybook Characters: The title characters from both Norman Bridwell’s Clifford the Big Red Dog and Janell Cannon’s Stellaluna will both

dancing? You can do the Hokey Pokey with your head, shoulders, knees and toes, or do the Chicken Dance until you’re happy and you know it.

The Return of King Countdown: reached for

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! “We love our Centennial Guild membership! The membership provides us with VIP treatment and exclusive access to the Museum, especially for events like Countdown to Noon.” – A. Archambault, Centennial Guild Member To Join, Renew, or Learn more about the Centennial Guild, please visit our website or contact Meg Mitchell, Annual Giving Manager, at or (215) 581-3166.

said he was “counting the days” until Countdown.

Numbers: To help us count down, the King will be joined by his Court of Numbers. Why does Number 6 look so nervous around Number 7?


Puppets: Look for your favorite PTM Puppet Pals as Pinky and Digger join in the fun.

Music: Ring in the New Year with your favorite performers. Fandango’s percussive playing will keep your feet moving, and our friend Louie Miranda will lead the singing of “Auld Lang Syne.”



comment about this year’s celebration, his Majesty

Practice Your Counting with the Court of


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!

be on hand (or paw, or wing) to help us celebrate.

Dancing: What’s a New Year’s Eve party without



Join or renew today and attend the exclusive Centennial Guild Early Morning Opening on Sunday, February 12 from 9:00 AM -11:00 AM. (Valid Centennial Guild Membership Card required upon entry)


Confetti: At the stroke of Noon, Please Touch Museum is going to make it rain!

Ringing in the New Year Friends and Family: The best part of Countdown to Noon is being able to share it with your loved ones.


You can look forward to all this and more at this year’s Countdown to Noon. See you there!

Created by Fahad, age 4

Program Room Art This masterpiece was created in our Program Room. The Elaine Wideman-Vaughn Program Room is open from 10:00 – 4:00 Monday through Saturdays, and 12:00 – 4:00 on Sundays.

Play by Play: Winter 2012  
Play by Play: Winter 2012