CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. WeeZee... World of "Yes, I Can" was designed for children, but it was hard to know that on Tuesday night. Politicians, parents and children alike excitedly toured Chappaqua's new sensory play space for the first time during its ribbon cutting ceremony.
Im actually glad the county executive wasnt able to make it tonight because this place is awesome, said Joseph Kenner, assistant to the county executive.
WeeZee is the brainchild and nickname of Louise Weadock, the owner of its parent company, Access Nursing Services. Weadock described the building as a sensory play space designed to improve cognitive capability of children by focusing on the senses.
Youve heard the line, as a parent, youre only as happy as your most unhappy child. And I believe what makes kids happy is a good sense of well-being, Weadock said. That means doing well academically, responding on an athletic field in a coordinated fashion, and yeah, making a few friends along the way.
Weadock said she was inspired to open the building because she was tired of seeing the same services used to treat children with disabilities, and did not see enough services targeting the sensory nervous system.
People tell you to change the conversation in health care, why arent we getting a better dollar out of the use of our health-care dollars? Weadock said. And its because were thinking in the same old way that weve always thought. WeeZee is out of the box. Were a little different. We want to change the conversation.
Environments included in the 16,000 square-foot indoor facility are an oxygen bar, athletic training, a music room, a karaoke room and a swing bean café that is equipped with swing seating and offers lattes, smoothies and nutritious snacks.
The opening of the play space drew politicians from all over the county, including County Legislators Mike Kaplowitz and Michael Smith, Assembly member Robert Castelli, Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster, and New Castle Town Supervisor Susan Carpenter, who officially proclaimed April 24 as Sensory Awareness Day in the town. Former President Bill Clinton and Gov. Andrew Cuomo also sent letters welcoming WeeZee to Chappaqua.
The irony is that none of the kids are listening to us. Theyre having too much fun, said Kaplowitz. "This is the sensory deprivation part. Dont invite politicians back as politicians. Invite us back as parents, friends and neighbors for sure.
The programs at WeeZee will officially begin on May 1 and will be available to children from ages one to 12. The building will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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