Playmakers Village Opens in Danbury, CT
Part of state-wide implementation of Playmakers approach
Family and Children’s Aid of Danbury, CT (FCA) has been a partner of Life is good Playmakers since 2005 (when we were known as Project Joy) and is a remarkable ongoing success story. FCA provides high quality programs and services to heal and support children and families in crisis throughout western Connecticut. On Saturday, October 15, FCA invited Chief Playmaker Steve Gross to deliver the keynote at A Night in the Neighborhood, a dedication ceremony marking the official grand opening of its brand-new, 16,000 square foot Harmony Center. The centerpiece of the new building is the Playmakers Village, a beautifully-designed, wide-open interior space where children will experience the healing play that FCA staff learned from our Playmakers and where that staff will also hold training retreats for other providers from all over the state who will then implement the Playmakers approach in their centers.
FCA has been conducting the Playmakers Powerplay program with children every week since 2006; thousands of children have experienced this means of “therapeutic recreation” — a key component of FCA’s treatment program for children with significant social and emotional challenges. The excellent results that FCA achieved using our approach in their extended day treatment programs for children adopted wider attention as a best-practices approach among other agencies. Over time this led the Connecticut Department of Children and Families to implement the approach in all 26 state-supported extended day treatment programs in every corner of the state.
In order to provide Playmaker certification training to child care providers in agencies all across the state, our Playmakers team will soon be providing advanced training for FCA. The FCA staff will become, in essence, a supplemental training staff for LIG Playmakers, enabling us to keep pace with the significant demand in Connecticut. The Playmakers – FCA collaboration represents an exciting new partnership model for expanding our work that we expect to replicate elsewhere.