Racing down Waller Street as fast as she could with her little 2-year-old legs, Emily abruptly stopped in front of the fire house and pointed towards the doorbell. She knew where she was headed, and she wanted to get to the Playroom as quickly as possible. Her mother, Denise, finally caught up and lifted Emily to push the bell.
Last week, I was lucky enough to attend a class here at the Prevention Center made up of nine youth. I came on behalf of the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), and together, with the help of my colleague, Curriculum and Programs Manager Jasmin Hoo, we played an array of theater games meant to enhance imagination and group work.
The Children’s Playroom, here at the Prevention Center, houses many different toys for our young guests. From ticklish Elmo’s, to trains sets, to a mini air-hockey table. However, one of our all-time favorites has always been one that comes and goes from the menagerie: the cardboard box. Whenever we get our hands on a nice, big cardboard box, we can’t resist making use of it.
Last week we got hold of an extra large cardboard box, about the size of a small closet. We decided it was the perfect size for a time machine.
I’m thrilled to have you meet Paige, a dear friend who I introduced to the Prevention Center years ago at Blue Ribbon Luncheon. Paige was deeply moved by the mission of the organization and shortly after began volunteering in our Therapeutic Children’s Playroom. I’m so grateful for her friendship and her support of the Prevention Center — the kids love her too!
Q: Tell me about your life.
A: I’m a mom of two girls (ages 16 and 12) and I love being their parent. My husband and I chose to raise our children in San Francisco so they could be exposed to the city’s diversity. I’ve worked in land conservation for the past 18 years. I sometimes wonder if I chose my career over again that I might become a social worker.
What is the Children’s Playroom?
The Children’s Playroom here at the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center provides therapeutic play and support groups for kids as well as childcare to parents accessing services on site. We work to ensure that each child visiting the Playroom has an experience that is most supportive of their social and emotional growth. Indeed, that is our focus here in the Playroom, to help children learn and practice their social and emotional skills that will help them be successful in other areas of their lives. The Playroom supports 440+ kids for a total of 3,600+ visits a year.