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Our project:
Building a Child Life Zone

Proceeds from this year's Words & Wisdom will support construction of our Child Life Zone, a state-of-the-art therapeutic play area inside the Children's Tower at Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU. A sanctuary. A place where kids can be kids.

In partnership with the Teammates for Kids Foundation, the Zone will be staffed by the hospital’s child life specialists, certified professionals who help children and their families cope with medical challenges through play, education and self-expression. The unique amenities of the Child Life Zone include therapeutic craft and play centers with a high-tech electronic games wall, a multi-use theater and interactive broadcast studio and a kitchen and eating area.

Without the skilled, compassionate and dedicated hospital team, a Child Life Zone would be nothing but walls, paint and furniture. That’s why the Child Life Zone Network is the most important benefit that Teammates for Kids brings to its partner hospitals. The Zone Network connects child life specialists across the country to share best practices, resources and innovations that elevate the team’s ability to serve children and families. 

Tot Zone and Sensory Room

Designed for our youngest patients, these areas will provide a safe space for them to explore and engage in imaginative play. 

Maker Space

The maker space is where children can tap into their creativity through crafts, games, 3D printing, and a variety of activities that challenge and excite children of all ages.

Movie House

This area is a space for children to play and record music, create television shows, watch movies, and engage in virtual reality experiences. 

Medical Play

A hospital can be a scary place for children, full of new and strange experiences. Having an opportunity to see and play with various medical instruments can help reduce anxiety and prepare them for exams and procedures.

Impact of the Child Life Zone

Kids Playing with Lego

Heather Rossi, Senior Certified Child Life specialist

"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. 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."

Concentrated Girl

Dr. Matt Schefft, DO,  Associate Chief Quality and Safety Officer 

"Having this large play space on the sky lobby level provides a destination off of their unit to look forward to. It feels like a trip to the children’s museum. The psychology of hope and freedom that this space will provide is a game-changer for our patients and their families."

Day Care

Cathy Van Drew
Doctor of Physical Therapy

"Play-based therapy allows children to engage in a fun activity while improving their strength, balance, and endurance. A child life zone in our new building would provide an exceptionally fun and therapeutic space for children and families while they are recovering from the unimaginable."

Art Class

About The Teammates for Kids Foundation

Founded in 1999 by Garth Brooks, the Teammates for Kids Foundation is dedicated to supporting children in the areas of health and education. They establish Child Life Zones in children’s hospitals across the country and support the zones and child life teams at every stage – from concept and design to construction and ongoing upkeep. The Foundation’s team brings unparalleled experience and best-practices to guarantee that each Child Life Zone is more than just a playroom.

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