Over the next few weeks, Saint Ann’s community service is collecting new and gently new toys to benefit hundreds of low-income children who participate in Columbia University’s Head Start Program. Founded in 1990 under the auspices of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, the Head Start program primarily assists immigrant Latino children living in upper Manhattan, near Columbia’s Morningside Heights campus. Specifically targeted towards pregnant women and young children (0-5), Head Start offers a preschool and workshops that build parent/child relationships. Additionally, health services are provided, as well as English language programs.
Play is an integral facet of a child’s well-being, acting as an impetus for cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development. It fosters creative thought, fine motors skills, and community-building/relationship development – it has been suggested that children attending schools that incorporate less time to play are less readily able to store information compared to those who have exposure to play and toys. In fact, even the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights identifies play as a fundamental right of every child. For more on “The Importance of Play,” click here.
- Accepting toys at the security desk and all division offices, until December 16th
- Toys should be new, and geared towards young children between the ages of zero and five
- For more information, contact Diane Gnagnarelli.