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Teammates for Kids Child Life Zone opening summer 2024
March 21, 2024
Kids smiling and gaming with microphone

    New space developed in collaboration with the Teammates for Kids Foundation will help kids have fun in the Children’s Tower

    This summer, the Children’s Tower will open a new space dedicated to the social and emotional wellbeing of our patients and other young visitors.

    The Child Life Zone will offer a 3,000-square-foot therapeutic play space that will serve as a place where kids can be kids, even during a hospital stay. Located on the Sky Lobby level of the Children’s Tower, the state-of-the-art space will be staffed by our child life specialists, certified professionals who help children and their families cope with medical challenges through play, education and self-expression.

    The Zone is being funded by individual and corporate donations and is being designed and built through a strategic partnership with the Teammates for Kids Foundation. Teammates for Kids was founded by country music star Garth Brooks and has established 14 other Child Life Zones in children’s hospitals across the country. Their team offers best practices and expertise to guarantee that each Child Life Zone provides a high quality, engaging experience.

    An engaging space for toddlers, kids and teens in the hospital

    Like the Children’s Tower, our Child Life Zone’s design will reflect the Central Virginia area, including an interactive water table to resemble the James River and a clubhouse built like an American Indian long house. The space will have areas to watch movies, play video games, complete art projects, make music and enjoy snacks. It also will have toddler zone and a special section just for teenage patients.

    “A key part of being a child life specialist is promoting normalizing play within the medical setting – there’s no better place to do this than a Child Life Zone,” said Heather Rossi, senior certified child life specialist. “When children have opportunities to play and explore it can lower their stress levels and regulate their emotions, putting them in a better place mentally and emotionally to recover."

    Construction on the Zone began this month and is expected to be completed in August. Additional funding for the project is being provided by the Words & Wisdom fundraising event on April 18.

    Explore the Children’s Tower.

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