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Primary Project End-of-Year Celebration

27 June 2022 |

Rochester is home to the Strong National Museum of Play, the venue that hosted our end-of-year event, acknowledging and celebrating our heroes, our New York State Primary Project teams! The morning was filled with welcome remarks by executive director Ann Marie White, Ed.D., a feature presentation by Dr. Jody Manly, Clinical Director at the Mt. Hope Family Center and Senior Research Associate at the University of Rochester, titled “Resilience in the Face of Adversity: Healing through Relationships,” followed by the Children’s Institute research team (Joseph McFall, Ph.D., Erinn Duprey, Ph.D., and Marjorie Allan, MPH). Results from an attendance study were shared, along with more information on a current study looking at the effectiveness of Primary Project which included a call to schools recruiting them for the study in the 2022-23 school year. As we paved the way to the afternoon portion, which included exploring the museum and a scavenger hunt, Primary Project directors shared the following with participants:

With much thought and consideration, just for today, we are hereby officially tendering our resignations as adults and invite you to join us. We have decided we would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8-year-old again. We are here at the Strong National Museum of Play – the ultimate play destination.

Today we may play with silly words and rhymes in the Upside-Down Nonsense House. We might like to step into a life-size dollhouse complete with kitchen, nursery, garden, and a family car (with working ignition, pedals, GPS, and headlights). We can choose to role play as a teacher or student in a 19th-century, one-room schoolhouse. We will move like a piece on a giant game board through three centuries of American games, puzzles, and public amusements at Game Time! We can say “hello” to Big Bird and sit on the famous 123 Sesame Street stoop. We will cruise the aisles at Wegmans and fill a grocery cart with colorful products that look amazingly real! These are just a few of the things we can do!    

We are here and plan to be playful at every turn and remember back to what it was like when life was carefree and simple. When all you know now at this time of year is making up missed sessions, completing data measures in COMET, connecting with teachers and parents, packing up playroom supplies, and a whole list of responsibilities that come with working in schools! For today, that stuff doesn’t bother you because you are not there. All you know is to celebrate and be blissfully unaware of all the things that make you worry or are on your mind!  

We want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again. We don’t want our day to consist of thinking about inflation, high gas prices, illnesses, loss of loved ones, and more mental health needs than there are resources.  
We want to believe in the power of play, the importance of relationships, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, and the power of imagination.

So…we are officially resigning from adulthood, all outside worries and obligations, and plan to enjoy and celebrate with colleagues, team, and fellow Primary Project pals. And if you want to discuss this further, you’ll have to catch us first, ‘cause…


Enjoy the photos and the smiles! We hope that those that joined us enjoyed the day and keep playing over the summer weeks! See you in September!

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