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ERIC Number: EJ864774
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0164-8527
Brightening Lives: How Early Childhood Educators Can Bring Everyday Experiences to Children in Crisis
Weaver, Karin
Exchange: The Early Childhood Leaders' Magazine Since 1978, n190 p68-71 Nov-Dec 2009
More than one million children are homeless in the United States, and more than half of those are age 6 or younger. As the recession continues, even more families are finding themselves homeless. Studies have shown that children of all ages thrive when they have a safe space in which to explore the world around them, filled with spaces for play that include toys and activities that are developmentally appropriate and provide an opportunity for them to discover the magic of childhood. Children experiencing the stress of homelessness especially need access to these kinds of child-friendly spaces in order to develop social, cognitive, gross motor, and language skills, which are vital to their development and success later in life. This article describes the Bright Space which can be a valuable tool for children in this situation. The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, the non profit organization of Bright Horizons Family Solutions, a leading provider of employer-sponsored child care, early education, and work/life solutions, established the Bright Spaces program to create appropriate play and learning areas for children of all ages living in shelters. A Bright Space is a room transformed by a team of early education and design professionals to create a warm, inviting area where children at risk can simply be children. Each Bright Space is a partnership between faculty and families of a Bright Horizons early education center, a sponsor, and a community agency that serves children in crisis. Sometimes it's a homeless shelter, sometimes a food pantry, sometimes a public health clinic. In each of the more than 200 Bright Spaces across the country, the goal is to create or improve the children's play area in a community agency so that children have a chance to play, to grow, to learn, and most of all, to have fun.
Exchange Press, Inc. P.O. Box 3249, Redmond, WA 98073-3249. Tel: 800-221-2864; Fax: 425-867-5217; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A