In collaboration with Dunn Tire, Mason's Mission, Ferranti family, dozens of Give 716 Day donors
Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children's Museum has unveiled its newest exhibit, an all-new, fully accessible indoor playground.
A press release stated, “Through a partnership with Mason's Mission, Dunn Tire, the Ferranti family, and the generosity of dozens of Give 716 supporters, the museum has been able to bring a fully accessible indoor playground to life! This new inclusive and accessible exhibit will take away the barriers to inclusion, both physical and social, providing a ‘sensory-rich’ experience and offering numerous benefits for all children year-round.”
Explore & More CEO and President Michelle Urbanczyk said, "A foundational principle of Explore & More is being inclusive and accessible for all children and families. We're so pleased to be able to bring this indoor playground to the Western New York community so that children of all walks of life can play, regardless of ability!"
The press release explained, “Physical play is an important part of every child’s brain development. Multiple studies have shown that physical play benefits children’s physical, cognitive and social development, giving them a higher level of self-confidence and keeping them healthier overall. This is true for all kids – whether they have disabilities or not.
“Unfortunately, in Western New York, there are only three truly 100% inclusive playgrounds, all designed and created by a local nonprofit organization Mason’s Mission. Adding to this is the fact that, because of WNY weather, these accessible playgrounds can only be utilized for part of the year. It is for these reasons – and because it is Explore & More's mission to serve all children and families – that these organizations have teamed up to take the inclusive outdoor playground concept and bring it inside. “
Dunn Tire Managing Director of Retail Operations Robert Clark said, "Dunn Tire is proud to be ingrained in the communities we have served for over 50 years. Any time we have an opportunity to be involved with the youth of these communities is an opportunity to help shape our future.
“Collaborating with great organizations such as Explore & More and Mason’s Mission just makes sense, and we look forward to the happiness this playground brings to all families who experience it!"
Jason Evchich, founder of Mason’s Mission Foundation – and father to Mason Jerome, Matthew Jason and Mckenna Grace – said, "People often talk about their own legacy – what they leave behind, what accomplishments they have made throughout their life to be recognized in years to come. I look at my legacy and give it to my children.
“What we have done here and around Western New York to indelibly change the lives of so many kiddos and their families in the name of my children is the legacy. I may be forgotten in years to come, but my child’s name will affect the lives of families long after I am no longer. What better gift can a father have than his children to aspire to!"
The Ferranti family stated, "When children of all abilities play together it illustrates how we are all more alike than different."
Explore & More's mission is to provide best-in-class play experiences where all children, families, and the community can explore, learn and develop together. Visit exploreandmore.org or connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children's Museum is located at 130 Main St., Buffalo. Call 716-655-5131 or visit www.exploreandmore.org.
Images courtesy of Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children's Museum