Bright Spaces: Serving Children in Crisis, Wherever They Are
By Ileen Henderson, National Director of Bright Spaces
When Bright Spaces started 20 years ago, our mission was to serve homeless children and provide a safe place for them to experience their childhood. Today, we still serve children experiencing trauma like homelessness, but the settings we find them in are as varied as the circumstances of their difficult lives.
Almost half of the 295 Bright Spaces currently open are in shelters; emergency, transitional living, and domestic violence settings. So, we are there with Bright Spaces wherever we are needed. Each Bright Space reflects not only the agency partner receiving the new play space, but also the influence of the Bright Horizons volunteers as they bring their knowledge of early childhood to the jigsaw puzzle of designing unique Bright Spaces that are developmentally appropriate as well as sustainable.
I am proud and amazed at the diversity of our Bright Spaces. We have evolved our Bright Space program to include spaces for children to play while waiting for busy parents moving through the social service system; spaces that encourage bonding and connection with incarcerated parents and through the challenge of reunification; and spaces for children displaced by violence in their country and personal tragedy, as well as dozens of unique settings that do not fall into any known categories but are united by the fact that they serve children in crisis.
This short video will show you the numerous and various types of Bright Spaces that we have created over the last few years.
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