Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery request a grant to purchase equipment for our indoor gym, where staff and volunteers lead children in age-appropriate play while they are in residence during a family crisis. With the help of The Awesome Foundation, we will equip this large room for activities that teach children how to take turns, share, collaborate, follow directions, and lead. We will create a space that encourages children to use imaginative play to build social relationships explore their environment.
Parents voluntarily bring their children to the Nursery when the challenges of poverty, single-parenting, transience, and isolation reach crisis levels. The Nursery provides a secure environment and the attention of nurturing adults to calm children’s fears while they are separated from their parents.
Throughout the three days of placement, care providers in a ratio of one to four children follow the Nursery Way protocol to repair the impact of stress on the child’s mind and body. As children bathe and brush their teeth, pick out their clothes, play on one of the playgrounds or in an indoor activity room, enjoy meals and snacks, and get ready for bed, they learn to expect help from adults in expressing their needs and feelings, recognizing limits, empathizing with others, and exploring their environment.
Play is an important part of the Nursery Way protocol. As a body of current research tell us, children develop cognitive skills, physical abilities, vocabulary, and social capabilities while participating in games, making art, and role-playing. At the same time, they reduce stress and build self-esteem (http://families.naeyc.org/learning-and-development/child-development/10-things-every-parent-should-know-about-play). With a contribution to equip the Crisis Nursery gym, The Awesome Foundation will provide the many benefits of play to children whose lives are often overshadowed by family instability and parental anxiety.
Funded by Twin Cities, MN (July 2017)