What a day!
After two years of virtual celebrations, the stars lined up for the 2022 Edward Street Day of Play Family Festival on Saturday, September 17th.
The weather was amazing, children enjoyed play-based learning activities, and families connected and reconnected with neighbors, friends, and colleagues.
More than 5,000 people attended!
“It was extraordinary,” said Kim Davenport, Edward Street Vice President of Initiatives & Aligned Programs. “Children’s innate sense of joy and playfulness came alive, and it was infectious. It was the perfect constellation of returning to what matters most. We’re so grateful to our sponsors and volunteers for making this day possible.”
Construction play, math play, imagination play, and fun with nature
They built towers, forts, and rocket ships. They enjoyed math and engineering play, and fun with nature. Collectively, dozens of young children created a handprint tapestry, led by the Together for Kids Coalition. And they built miniature garden benches for seedlings, with assistance from Home Depot.
Games and sports like soccer and an obstacle course
Young ones learned how to dribble, pass, and score at the Day of Play Soccer Clinic.
At the Day of Play obstacle course, called Daniel’s Neighborhood Challenge (inspired by the 2022 Day of Play book and theme, Daniel’s Good Day) children collected the mail, walked babies in strollers, drove a city bus, and made birthday cakes.
Storytime, live music, a dance performance, and a juggling act
Mister Vic & Company, Chuck & Mud, the Hip Swayers, Crocodile River Music, and African Community Education each wowed the audience with music.
Storytime was a big hit too. New Worcester Superintendent Dr. Rachel Monárrez read Daniel’s Good Day aloud while Hanover Theater actor Will Sheerin brought Daniel’s movements to life.
Plus, there were two parades and a juggling act!
The Day of Play celebrates positive playtime. Here’s why
Sure, building a fort, drawing a picture, and playing soccer can be great fun, but playing is how children learn. After pandemic lockdowns and remote learning, it’s more important than ever.
“Day of Play is just one day but it encourages children, families, and early educators to engage in positive playtime all year long,” says Davenport. “In the hustle and bustle of media-saturated days, playing with your children for 10-15 minutes has incredible benefits.”
A big Edward Street thank-you to all those who made the Day of Play possible!
Thank you to our amazing sponsors:
- Presenting Sponsors: Worcester Family Partnership, the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, and Edward Street
- Activity Sponsors: Eastern Bank, Hanover Insurance Group Foundation, Guild of St. Agnes, and the Webster Five Foundation
- Contributing Sponsors: Berkshire Bank, Boys & Girls Club of Worcester, Coalition for a Healthy Greater Worcester, Country Bank, Middlesex Savings Bank, Price Chopper, and Wegmans
- Supporting Sponsors: Cornerstone Bank, Worcester County Chapter of MAAEYC, and YWCA of Central MA
Thank you to the Day of Play Planning Committee members:
- Nehal Attia - Worcester Family Partnership
- Jo Ann Borinski - Worcester Area Association for the Education of Young Children
- Fela De Los Santos - Worcester Family Partnership
- Amanda Gentile - Worcester Family Partnership
- Jackie Hastings - Worcester Family Partnership
- Linda Jackson - Worcester Family Partnership
- Karen O’Neill - Quinsigamond Community College
- Sofia Perno - YWCA of Central MA
- Laura Polanco - Worcester Child Development Head Start
- Carlene Sherbourne - Worcester Child Development Head Start
- Gloria Sinclair - Worcester Comprehensive Education & Care
- Beth Vietze - Worcester Family Partnership
- Karen Waters - Worcester Child Development Head Start
A special thank you to photographer David Niles!