WORCESTER, MA (August 20, 2020) – Edward Street has reimagined its annual Day of Play Family Festival. “The pandemic provided us with the opportunity to reimagine how we engage young children and families in play and learning,” shared Rose Hayes, Festival Director. “We knew we wanted to continue this treasured tradition and we hope families will join us online for a week of new activities, videos, performances and events.”
The festival kicks off on September 12th and will run for a week, with new activities added daily. The virtual festival features more than 70 activities in seven play areas: Physical, Literacy, Music, STEM, Creative Arts, Construction, Performances, and Health and Wellness. Dozens of local organizations and artists have contributed content, videos and programming.
This year’s dinosaur theme features Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug by Jonathan Stutzman and illustrator Jay Fleck. Join us on Saturday, September 12th for very special readings of this story by author, Jonathan Stutzman, and Community Literacy Champions, Patty Eppinger, Hilda Ramirez and Anh Vu Sawyer.
“The response was overwhelming,” recalls Hayes. Individuals and organizations were eager to help us with content. From sharing existing videos to creating new content, our community stepped up so that children would have a special online play-filled experience.”
“We also wanted to ensure that children and families had materials to participate in the activities. With special thanks to Tufts Health Plan, we can distribute 500 Play Bags filled with materials, books, and craft supplies,” Hayes shared. There is also a Dino Activity Tracker so children can track their play and earn a certificate. Pick up locations for the Play Bags have been set up around the city for specific days and times, just before the festival kicks off. Families can “drive by” and pick up a bag – one per family at the following locations, while supplies last.
Daily beginning Thursday, 9/3 – 9/10 - Worcester Public Library - in WPL lobby
Tuesday, 9/8 -Boys & Girls Club, 65 Tainter Street, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Tuesday, 9/8 - Seven Hill's CCR&R. West Boylston St., 10:00 am – 2:00 pm – Curbside Pickup
Wednesday, 9/9 -Bay State Savings Bank, Mill St., 10:00 am – 2:00 pm– Curbside Pickup
Founded by Edward Street Child Services, Day of Play seeks to reintroduce families to the joy of playing with their children. “Support across the community for Day of Play is incredibly strong and grows annually. Each year dozens of community organizations volunteer their time and talents to create this special festival which honors children and centers their learning in playful experiences,” notes Eve Gilmore, Executive Director of Edward Street
Day of Play is free thanks to the generous support from local sponsors including Presenting Sponsors: Edward Street Child Services, Worcester Family Partnership, and the MA Department of Early Education and Care, and Contributing Sponsors: Tufts Health Plan and Worcester County Chapter of MAAEYC, and Supporters: Guild of St. Agnes, Rainbow Child Development Center, and YWCA of Central MA.
For a full schedule of events and more information about the festival, visit http://www.worcesterdayofplay.org.