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Touchstone Center for Children 

September Newsletter
Summer has, once again, vanished all too quickly. With change as a constant, we wanted to share some of the changes in the Center’s Archival Project. Kris Santos, who has been expertly organizing the Center’s archives, has taken a full-time position as an archivist with the New York Foundation of the Arts, but will continue to advise and consult with us. In turn, we are pleased to welcome Michelle de la Cruz as our resident archivist. She will be joined by Jeanie Yeo, who will continue her work with the Center, focusing on creating a historical context for the Center and its archives.

As the new school year begins, we are reminded how important it is for children to preserve, essentially to acknowledge and share, the vibrant qualities of their own inner life, their own play and imagining. The arts can so often act as a natural way of keeping these aspects of knowing and understanding alive to each child. And like caring and inquisitive archivists, children are also capable and eager to reach into their own expressiveness – and bring to the surface, as did 5th grader Julia, a vital moment of her inner world of play.
When my mind plays it goes surfing on ideas, then settles down to build on them, soon racing away to find more play areas, exploring, pedaling hard, streaking across the sky, soaring like a bird, spinning all around with a big grin. I see fish jumping up. I see the stars and sun in the sky. I found my play area . . .“
With play in mind, we would like to share In The Spirit of Play, a video documenting a multi-year project of the Center, which took place in a variety of public schools throughout New York City from 1997 to 1998. The intent of this project was to encourage children to reflect on, and to express through the arts, the marvel that is their play, both in themselves and the universe at large.
"Play needs no justification, no moral rationale that it is good to have around because children might, in their enjoyment of play, be learning something useful. Play has its own reasons for existence. It manifests its qualities not because we have ordained it with purpose, but because it comes of its own accord and with its own instinctual reasoning, at the childhood of human growth.”



Richard Lewis
Touchstone Center for Children
Julia’s writing is from I Catch My Moment: Art and Writing by Children on the Life of Play, Touchstone Center Publications (2007). "Play needs no justification . . ." is from When Thought is Young: Reflections on Teaching and the Poetry of the Child by Richard Lewis, with artwork by Amanda Lewis, New Rivers Press (1992). In the Spirit of Play was created by Geoffrey Jones and written and narrated by Richard Lewis, Touchstone Center Publications (2007).
Copyright © 2017 The Touchstone Center for Children, All rights reserved.

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