Over the course of the past year, much interest has been generated! With assistance from several supportive volunteers, a concept paper and business outline have been drafted, potential sites have been visited, and a Cape Cod Toy Library Facebook page and initial website have been created.
During the month of May several presentations were given across the Cape to inform early childhood networks, social workers, and parents about the Cape Cod Toy Library (CCTL) and to gather community input. Presentations were given in community spaces donated by Truro and Sandwich Libraries, Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School, and the Cultural Center of Cape Cod.
On June 4th, we held our first hands-on event – "Family Boat Play Day" – at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum, who kindly donated the use of their space. Live music was provided by fiddler Dinah Mellin. Play materials were donated by local businesses and individuals, supplemented by over 30 toys on loan from Rochester New York's Toy Library. Families put on puppet shows, played horseshoes, and went on a treasure hunt – and enjoyed all sorts of activities in-between.
As a follow up, informal presentations will continue to be given in locations across the Cape with the objective to engage parents and grandparents and child care providers in thinking about the importance of play and envisioning what a Cape Cod Toy Library could mean to their children and families. These sessions will not only help spread the word about the coming of Cape Cod Toy Library, they will also help us identify what would be helpful to families and child care providers. We are interested in hearing what would be desirable hours for CCTL to be open, membership fee levels and scholarships, types of toys, resource information and programs that would most support potential users and their children’s learning. Give us feedback here. Additional presentations will be given to groups upon request, including Rotary Clubs and Kiwanis Clubs.
Additional e-newsletters and Facebook postings will continue to spread the word and engage those interested in Cape Cod Toy Library development and it’s potential impact on quality of life on the Cape. The Cape Cod Toy Library website will begin to take shape beyond it’s current status with inclusion of resource information about the importance of play for children’s healthy development.
Cape Cod Toy Library, Inc. is now incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and we’ve submitted our application for our federal tax-exempt status.
Once tax-exempt status is obtained, grants, financial support, and in-kind donations will be solicited from foundations, townships, businesses and individuals for the start-up of Cape Cod Toy Library. Possible location sites will be sought and secured, volunteers will be recruited and trained, staff will be hired and trained, space will be renovated and prepared for CCTL use, in-kind donations will be collected, sorted, cleaned, cataloged, packaged and labeled, purchases will be made for the necessary computer technology and software, furnishings, toy library inventory, and supplies, promotional fliers and brochures will be designed and printed, and the grand opening of CCTL will be publicized through print, radio and social media.
Opening Cape Cod Toy Library
Cape Cod Toy Library will open 20-24 hours a week for public access to the play space and for family, child care provider, educators or organization members to borrow toys for 1-3 week loan periods. Additional hours for specialized groups and programs will be scheduled during hours CCTL is not open to the public. To support a start-up part-time staff, volunteers will be recruited for specific roles. Membership options are still under discussion.
For more information, contact Deb Willsea, email@example.com 585-330-4656