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Port Discovery Children’s Museum Launches Project PlayPack

Port Discovery partnering with Baltimore Hunger Project and Weekend Backpacks for Homeless Kids to put play items into the hands of vulnerable children.

Baltimore, MD – June 4, 2020 –   Port Discovery Children’s Museum is proud to announce the launch of Project PlayPack, an initiative that puts play and enrichment items into the hands of under-resourced children and families in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.

Through a partnership with Baltimore Hunger Project and Weekend Backpacks for Homeless Kids, Port Discovery is distributing play packs to more than 2,600 children dealing with food insecurity and other difficult circumstances.

Designed to encourage children to learn through play while also coping with the stress and trauma they may be enduring during this time, each Port Discovery PlayPack includes four essential play items along with an activity sheet. PlayPacks include:

  • Jump Ropes: To encourage children to be active through physical play.
  • Capes & Masks: To encourage children to use their imaginations through dramatic play.
  • Play-Doh®: To encourage children to play and create side-by-side through parallel play.
  • Building Blocks: To encourage children to play and build together through cooperative play.

The items and activities are designed to be used again and again, and to be shared with siblings and family members within the home.

“During this time of school and community resource closure, many children do not have access to play and enrichment that helps them learn, prepare for school, and work through stress, trauma and other hardships,” said Bryn Parchman, President & CEO of Port Discovery Children’s Museum.  “Through Project PlayPack, Port Discovery and our partners are putting play into the hands of children and families – bringing them joy, enrichment and learning in a time when they need it most.”

“During the COVID-19 crisis, Baltimore Hunger Project has expanded our mission and the number of children we serve,” said Lynne Kahn, Executive Director of Baltimore Hunger Project. “We are now providing food packages twice a week to support low-income and vulnerable families during this crisis, expanding the number of children we serve from 650 to 2,300. Baltimore Hunger Project’s mission aligns well with Port Discovery's mission to support programs that ensure the health and well-being of Baltimore City and County children, and we are grateful for this partnership.”

Project PlayPack has been generously funded by The Baltimore Community Foundation, The Lerner Family Foundation, The Rauch Foundation, and The United Way of Central Maryland as part of the COVID-19 Response Funding Collaborative of Greater Baltimore, and The J.S. Plank & D.M. DiCarlo Family Foundation, Inc.

About Port Discovery Children’s Museum

As the premier children’s museum in the mid-Atlantic, Port Discovery Children’s Museum educates children and inspires life-long curiosity. Our play-to-learn philosophy opens the door for children to discover and explore the world around them and to lead smarter, healthier, more engaged lives. The Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution, offers 3 floors of educational, interactive exhibits and programs and is ranked among the Top Children’s Museums in the United States. To learn more, visit www.portdiscovery.org.

About Baltimore Hunger Project

Baltimore Hunger Project is dedicated to eliminating the growing problem of weekend childhood hunger by feeding bodies and minds. We are bridging the gap between Friday and Monday by consistently providing weekend food packages to children identified as food insecure, in a compassionate and dignified manner. We raise awareness about the effects of hunger by establishing partnerships with community members, other organizations, and decision-makers.

About Weekend Backpacks for Homeless Kids

The mission of Weekend Backpacks for Homeless Kids is to provide nourishment to vulnerable youth in Baltimore City in order to foster their academic success.

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Media Contact: Abbi Ludwig | aludwig@portdiscovery.org 

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