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