For Immediate Release
February 20, 2013
Contact: Megan Fischer
Director of Communications
(401) 273-5437 ext. 126
Return to Press Room


“Speaking of Play”

Providence Children’s Museum and Providence Athenaeum
Present Spring Conversation Series


Providence Children’s Museum and the Providence Athenaeum are partnering to present a series of panel discussions about the critical importance of self-directed play for children’s healthy growth and development.  Conversations will be held the first Tuesday of March, April and May from 7:00 - 8:30 PM at the Athenaeum (251 Benefit Street in Providence) and are free and open to the public.

Leave No Child Inside

Tuesday, March 5 | 7:00 - 8:30 PM

Today’s children play outside less than any previous generation, yet free outdoor play connects kids to the natural world and builds their imaginations, resiliency and confidence.  Join a discussion about what’s keeping them inside and what we can do to get them out!

Panelists include Chris Hitchener, “Our Big Backyard” Program Manager, Roger Williams Park Zoo; Paul Pieri, Middle School Farm Program Director, The Wheeler School; and Jeanine Silversmith, Founder and Director, RI Families in Nature.


What Happened to Recess?

Tuesday, April 2 | 7:00 - 8:30 PM

Recess is crucial for kids, resulting in better attention span, improved classroom behavior, and important opportunities for free play, creativity and interaction with other children – yet it is increasingly limited or withheld.  Join the great recess debate!

Panelists include Alicia Bell, Elementary art teacher and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School parent; Dr. Lauren Greve, Psychologist and Vartan Gregorian Elementary School parent; and Phyllis Penhallow, URI Lecturer and Chariho Elementary School parent.


Play & Risk: How Safe is Too Safe?

Tuesday, May 7 | 7:00 - 8:30 PM

Acceptable risk is beneficial to kids’ physical and emotional development, so when did it become a 4-letter word?  Taking risks helps children learn about their own capabilities and limits while increasing their comfort with making mistakes and taking on challenges.  Discuss ways to foster healthy risk-taking in kids’ play.

Panelists include Wendy Nilsson, Director, Partnership for Providence Parks, and Janice O’Donnell, Executive Director, Providence Children’s Museum.


RSVPs are welcome to Lindsay Shaw, lshaw@provath.org or (401) 421-6970 ext. 17. Click here to download a flyer for the series.



Providence Children’s Museum – play is powerful!
The Museum is located at 100 South Street in Providence’s Jewelry District. September through March, open Tuesday through Sunday and Monday school holidays, 9 AM to 6 PM, and selected Fridays until 8 PM. April through August, open 7 days. Unless indicated, programs are free with Museum admission of $9.00 per person; admission is always free for Museum members. Call (401) 273-KIDS or visit www.ChildrenMuseum.org.