Deming moms launch children’s museum.
Some of Play Sharity’s board of directors after signing the lease for the museum. (Photo: Courtesy Play Sharity)
When Kalyn Blazak’s children were 2 and 3 years old, she had a chance encounter with another mom at a local park in Deming. Both moms commiserated about the need for a safe, interactive, indoor learning space for their kids. But instead of just wishing for something better, they decided to take action.
- So, Kalyn and four other young mothers founded Play Sharity – a children’s museum and lending library – in their small community. The space will be located in a former city library, and will be inspired by Montessori and Reggio Emilia teaching. “We read a lot of books and are creating q whimsical space for creative learning,” Kalyn says.
Brynlee Keeler playing at the flight lab. (Photo: Courtesy Play Sharity)
- While renovation is going on in the building, activity stations are already set up for the kids. “We ‘re collecting lots of items that can be used for art – leather, felt, bottle caps, clean recyclables,” she says. “Local educators have donated fossils, board games and bug collections. OMAH Works & Materials, a local toy distribution company in Deming, donated over 250 educational toys. And Explora and Wemagination Resource Center in Albuquerque are lending us materials for exhibits.”
Play Sharity is 100% volunteer-run, from the founders to the executive board. Every mom has a personal reason to be involved in the project, and those reasons motivate them every day. “I strongly feel that our community needs places where families can bring children and spend time interacting with them in a positive environment,” says board member Jamie Viramontes. “We’re fostering connections between
- moms with similar needs,” says Monica Topham, one of the group’s first volunteers.
Families will be able to borrow toys from Play Sharity’s lending library. “We want to be a resource center for them,” Kalyn says. “Because when parents engage in a child’s education, their learning excels.” Play Sharity also plans to offer parent-and-child sewing classes, and even English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for parents.
The museum will be open to the public in March. But there’s still a lot of work to do. Play Sharity welcomes a variety of donations, from interactive artwork to exhibit sponsorships. Learn more at playsharity.org.
It’s all about sharing. “We believe we’re creating a better world, cared for by happy children who share.”
“Every child has a unique talent It’s our job to nurture that talent..” Kalyn Blazak