The Florida Center for Early Childhood has been awarded an Imagination Playground in a Cart™, an innovative playground equipment system, thanks to a grant provided by Target and national non-profit KaBOOM!.
KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play, is working with Target to increase access to play across the country. Grants for Imagination Playgrounds are helping to achieve that goal by bringing active play to more than 430,000 kids across the country.
Imagination Playground in a Cart™ is an innovative design in play equipment that encourages creativity, communication and collaboration in play. With a collection of custom-designed, oversized blue foam parts, Imagination PlaygroundTM provides a changing array of elements that allow children to turn their playground into a space constantly built and re-built by their imagination.
“An Imagination Playground In A Cart Play System at our early childhood education center, allows our children to expand on the skills they learn in class, and develop the social and emotional skills we instill in our Starfish Academy,” said Kathryn Shea, President and CEO. “The unstructured and imaginative nature of the play system has great benefits for all our children, both those with delays, and those meeting developmental milestones.”
The Starfish Academy at The Florida Center for Early Childhood, uses an inclusion curriculum, meaning children both developmentally on target, and those with delays are learning side by side in the same classroom, using the Mind Up Curriculum which emphasizes socio-emotional skills, empathy and self-regulation. Play and imagination is a major component of helping children develop these skills.
Unstructured, child-directed play has proven to help kids develop physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually, yet today’s kids have less time and fewer opportunities to play than any previous generation. The grant is part of Target’s ongoing efforts to help make wellness more affordable, accessible and inspirational for its team members, guests and communities.
About The Florida Center for Early Childhood
For over 35 years, The Florida Center for Early Childhood has been serving our community’s children and families. The Florida Center provides a seamless delivery of services for the whole child and his or her family. Today, The Florida Center for Early Childhood is a nationally accredited, community-based agency that provides early childhood education, developmental therapies, mental health therapy, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders diagnostic and intervention services, training, and home-based child abuse prevention services. For more information about The Florida Center visit www.thefloridacenter.org or contact Kaitlyn Kramer at 941-371-8820 x 1025.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,792 stores and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit to communities, which today equals more than $4 million a week. For more information, visit Target.com/Pressroom. For a behind-the-scenes look at Target, visit Target.com/abullseyeview or follow @TargetNews on Twitter.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – especially those living in poverty – the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play. KaBOOM! inspires communities to make play the easy choice and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of PLAYces. KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build more than 17,000 playspaces, engaged more than 1.5 million volunteers and served over 9 million kids. To learn why play matters for all kids, visit kaboom.org and join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom, facebook.com/kaboom and instagram.com/kaboom. #playmatters #PLAYceforKids