Library Offers Special Toys for Special People
PALM HARBOR - The Youth Services Department of Palm Harbor Library has a very unique lending collection for children with special needs. "Toys and Tools to Go" includes a large number of specially adapted toys, communication devices, capability switches, and activity centers for children who are physically challenged or developmentally delayed. All of the items in this collection allow for special needs children to have access to toys that might ordinarily be too expensive for their families, caregivers, teachers, or therapists to purchase. In 2003, the Palm Harbor Friends of the Library stepped forward with a $5,000 grant to initially fund this extraordinary collection.
Subsequent funding and donations were received by various organizations and individuals, including the Palm Harbor Civic Club and the Palm Harbor Junior Women's Club.
These toys and devices provide opportunities for play, enjoyment, and learning, which should be a part of every child's development. One parent of a special needs child was so thrilled with her child's progress that she returned with roses for the staff after her child had mastered a difficult skill using the stacking tower.
However, these toys and tools are NOT just for children - many physically challenged adults also utilize this collection. One particular young man with cerebral palsy has borrowed the "Ring around Bells" toy for the past three years so that he can volunteer as a Salvation Army bell ringer during the holiday season! The collection is available to anyone with a valid library card, and all items must be checked out and returned to the Children's Desk of the library.
The Palm Harbor Library is located at 2330 Nebraska Avenue, Palm Harbor. For further information, please call the Youth Services Department at 727-784-3332, Ext. 3018.
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