By the United Way of Western Connecticut | June 8, 2016

Gift of play to benefit families in the KT Murphy neighborhood in Stamford

The United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) announced today a grant award of $20,000 to Abilis, a nonprofit agency that runs family centered programs for infants and toddlers as part of its Birth to Three program. The grant will be used to bring “Play to Learn” playgroups to families who reside in the KT Murphy Elementary School neighborhood in Stamford.


The “Play to Learn” playgroups will begin this summer and extend through the 2016 - 2017 school year. Held twice a week, these 90-minute sessions will provide direct and indirect instruction for parents and caregivers and play for children. Each playgroup outing will provide free play group time (with activities such as finger plays, stories, and music), a snack, a hands-on project or experience (such as making a craft or playing with a sensory item such as play dough), table-top manipulatives, and parent education. Parents will be connected with local resources such as the library and birth to three services.

“We know from national studies that playgroups provide foundational literacy and socialization skills for children and an opportunity for parents to meet and connect with other parents,” said Kim Morgan, CEO of UWWC.  “These playgroups will include time for parent education on topics such as understanding developmental milestones, baby bottle syndrome, and creating healthy meals for picky toddlers.”

The Play to Learn playgroups are part of UWWC’s KT Murphy Neighborhood Initiative aimed at ensuring that all children are ready for kindergarten. UWWC has committed to an initiative that provides both a broad community perspective and a targeted focus on the KT Murphy Elementary School neighborhood in Stamford. UWWC is partnering with foundations, local businesses, and community providers to offer programming in the areas of early literacy, parenting skills, early developmental screening, school orientation events, and financial stability and health of the families