Creating a Safe Haven Through Child’s Play
The Play-Place for Autistic Children in Sterling, Michigan, is creating a safe space where special needs kids can feel accepted and learn essential life skills.
Every child wants to feel accepted and included, and the Play-Place for Autistic Children in Sterling, Michigan, is embracing special needs kids for who they are.
The Play-Place family center was designed to be a safe space for families affected by special needs where children can come learn, play and interact with others like them. There is an art studio, iPad room, areas for building with Lego blocks, a cinema and even indoor bouncy houses.
Shell Jones, Play-Place founder, said the organization’s top goal is to create a fun and friendly environment for these kids, while also helping them build essential life skills.
“Every component to our center has some type of therapeutic or educational value to it,” she said. “So we’ve pretty much disguised education through play, which is a natural form of engagement for children.”
The center quickly caught the attention of Damian Sharbowski, owner of Damian’s Auto Service and vice president of the NAPA Northern Detroit Business Development Group (BDG). He's also the father of a child with autism.
BDG connects top NAPA AutoCare providers in the area for joint marketing initiatives, training seminars and charity events. The Northern Detroit BDG chose to partner with Play-Place, donating funds and contributing countless volunteer hours to support the organization.
“We are just over the moon with the involvement of NAPA. These guys are more than just mechanics or business leaders. They have hearts,” said Jones.
Watch the video to learn more about the difference NAPA’s partnership with Play-Place is making in the lives of special needs families in Michigan.