Moreno Court playground project breaks ground


  • January 19, 2021
  • /   Shannon Nickinson
  • /   early-learning
Moreno Court playground breaking ceremony on Jan. 19, 2021.
Play is the way children learn the critically important social and emotional intelligence skills — the “soft skills” that adults will look for in them — as job candidates — later on.

Can we solve problems, think critically, and work together in a team?
Can we wait turns? Can we get back up when we fall? Will we be the friend who offers to help when someone falls?
Can we manage our emotions and read the emotions of other people?
Are we good sports — win or lose?

You can’t learn these things if you don’t have a safe space to play in.

And now the youngest children of Moreno Court have that space.

Our project has been a long time coming and I am grateful to Shirley Henderson, deputy director of Area Housing, for being a tireless partner in this project.

And then there are our  amazing, generous donors. You have made possible this project, which we hope will have a vital role in the lives of children who live here.

Thank you to Josh and Kristin Sitton, Jane Lauter and the Kugelman Family Foundation, and Cindi Bonner and the Bear Family Foundation for funding this project.

We are grateful to our friends at Caldwell Associates Architect for designing the space and to Bear General Contractors for managing the installation and construction.

Your investment in the children of our community is so appreciated. You’ve given more than play equipment and landscaping. You’ve seen every child as your child.

Research supports what many of us know intuitively — that children learn best by doing. That they like to get their hands dirty and touch, smell and sometimes taste when they play.

Research also tells us that playing outside — in nature — fires neurons in both hemispheres of the brain, stimulating growth of a child’s “near senses” in unique and vital ways.

Play spaces and materials that make the most of nature, that include water features, sand features, and wood and greenery connect children to the world around them.

The young children in Moreno Court didn’t have those things. Until you changed that. 
You have given children under 5 a space where it is safe for them to explore and play, and to connect with nature in a way that they aren’t able to now.

Thank you for building a community, one child, one life at a time.