New Play is Healing campaign focuses on health and wellness of youth through the power of play.

A Community Partnership for Mental Health for Youth, Above & Beyond Children’s Museum, Mental Health America and YMCA Launch the Play Is Healing Campaign in Sheboygan County.

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SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (February 23, 2021) – Play Is Healing launches this month as a collaborative initiative of community partners to promote a mindful reset and recess for the mind, body, and spirit with a focus on play as a powerful agent.

In collaboration with Above & Beyond Children’s Museum (ABCM), Mental Health America (MHA) in Sheboygan County and the Sheboygan County YMCA embark on a campaign centered on mental health and wellness for children and their families in Sheboygan County and beyond. Organized in a three-phase program spanning the entire year, the Play Is Healing Campaign begins with Phase 1 on February 22 with virtual sessions entitled “A Mindful Recess”. The sessions will be guided by Rachael Haas, Director of Wellness & Marketing at MHA, and recorded in various locations at ABCM and the YMCA locations in Sheboygan and Sheboygan Falls.

"We hope the campaign will make a significant impact on youth and families as Sheboygan County adapts and begins to heal from the collective trauma of the pandemic," said Haas.

The second phase “POP-Up in the Parks” will begin in June with various in-person outdoor programming. Campaign members will be popping up in parks throughout Sheboygan County including Road America and the soon-to-be-constructed Purple Octopus Playground (POP) at ABCM.

The final phase will begin in August with in-person programming indoors at ABCM and YMCA.

“The YMCA is focused on encouraging children to move and make good choices. With safety in mind, our YMCA Program Directors offer instructional and recreational activities to engage children to maintain and increase their fitness level, health, wellness, self-esteem and communication skills,” said Donna Wendlandt, Sheboygan County YMCA Chief Executive Officer.

"Play is one of the most powerful tools we can use to reconnect to one another and start the healing process," said Jackie Erdman, executive director of Above & Beyond Children's Museum. "Play allows us to engage kids while assisting them in building crucial developmental skills such as resilience.”

An additional way to participate is by picking up Play Is Healing Visitor Experience Kits at Mead Public Library and submitting drawings of what "Think Bigger" means. The artwork will be displayed at both Mead Public Library and ABCM.

By way of background, the museum closed on March 15, 2020 due to constraints by health restrictions and impending costs placed on interactive museums and equipment needs to operate safely. Following a rigorous “Playing It Safe” fundraising campaign to raise $130,000 the museum prepares to reopen the museum in March. The funds raised will pay for the operating expenses and recover lost revenue from programs and admissions to make it through this unprecedented situation.

Above & Beyond Children's Museum seeks donations for various needs including funds to operate and in support of new and current programming and outreach initiatives. Donations can be made by visiting, or by calling (920) 458-4263, or via mail to Above & Beyond Children’s Museum, 902 N. 8th Street, Sheboygan, WI 53081.

About Above & Beyond Children’s Museum Above & Beyond Children's Museum of Sheboygan County is a 501(c)3 community funded, visitor supported non-profit organization. The Museum was established in 1993 commemorating the 25th anniversary in 2018 with a remarkable list of historic and recent accomplishments achieved all while focusing on the museum’s steadfast mission to benefit the children and their families. The museum is located at 902 N. 8th Street in Sheboygan. INSTAGRAM: FACEBOOK: YOUTUBE: WEBSITE: