Seeds for Urban Play Supports Free Play Day at Jackson Woods
More free play and fun in the city is on its way with a Free Play Day Monday, April 15 from 4-6 p.m. at Jackson Woods Apartments, 1029 S. Jackson Street, in the Smoketown/Shelby Park neighborhood. A partnership with New Directions Housing Corporation and ChooseWell Communities – and support from Brown-Forman – has made this play opportunity and 3 others available to children in city neighborhoods through CAPN’s Seeds for Urban Play initiative.
Those seeds have included play training and on-the-job experiences for the organizations’ staff and supplies of loose parts and play kits for families that will ensure that the free play opportunities will continue. The staff at New Directions and Choosewell, who planned and will lead the free play day on Monday, are empowered to chart their own course for delivering quality play experiences for the children, families and communities they serve.
In fact, Tabitha Underwood, Director of Resident Services, said because of the positive experiences of the children who have participated and the play training her staff received, free play facilitation is now part of the job description for an NDHC staff member.
Underwood said she has become a believer that providing free play opportunities for children is as important and foundational for their healthy growth and development as stable, affordable housing and employment for their parents. And they will soon begin implementing an evaluation tool of those play experiences to test whether what they’ve observed is true.
Bernheim and the Children at Play Network are committed to extending outdoor free play opportunities to ALL children by working with partners to create more free play for children whose access is limited by ANY of the many factors that contribute to less free play time, and to bring children to Bernheim to develop connections with nature that are so beneficial for their physical, cognitive, social, emotional and mental health.
This is only possible with important partners like New Directions Housing Corporation and ChooseWell Communities that are anchored in the neighborhoods they serve and know best what the children, parents and communities want and need.
With the generous support of the Lift a Lift Foundation, the Seeds for Urban Play continues to grow through a new partnership with Play Cousins Collective, another strong community advocate for children, families and PLAY! Stay tuned for even MORE free play for children in Louisville neighborhoods that is reflective of their culture, identity and community in the coming year.