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Happy birthday to...you!

Happy birthday to...you!
post by Janelle Rooks

Today, March 1st we celebrate apple seeds’ 6th birthday. At 6 years old, we’ve technically outgrown our own play space. Some of our very first members’ children are now between the ages of 6 – 11! These past six years have been a whirlwind of hope, new faces becoming familiar faces, community building, faith, trust and most importantly FUN.

Over the course of our wonderful six years serving the Chelsea/Flatiron community (and beyond) we’ve introduced new classes including the award winning music program songs for seeds; we’ve expanded to three new locations – Upper West Side, Mumbai, and Dubai; and we continue to strive each and every day to be the cleanest, safest, friendliest and best indoor play space in Manhattan. Who says you have to sacrifice a safe, nurturing community when you live in the city?

But today, we are not really celebrating us. We are celebrating the people who make apple seeds an absolutely incredible place. In order to truly appreciate the community we have built, we reached out to several families and staff members and asked them to reflect on their time at apple seeds and why this is such a special place for them. Here are some of our favorites:

“I love what apple seeds has offered our family. A safe, loving environment where both my little boys took their first steps, did their first art projects, experimented with science projects, had their first camp experiences and sampled food they would never have tasted elsewhere! There was a time when we were at apple seeds every single day, and each time we stepped in, the smiles of joy and giggles from my boys, made it clear that this place was built with them (and other kids) in mind. Our little boys have grown up, but apple seeds will always have a soft spot in our family's heart.”
- Amira A. (co-founder apple seeds Dubai)

“I like seedlings and ballet. I like to dance and then eat snack. apple seeds is fun!”
- Leah, age 2 (current apple seeds kid)

“I have always loved the connections I have made with families throughout the years. It means so much to me to get invited to children’s birthday parties or be asked if I want to ‘come over and play’. I think that apple seeds is a wonderful place for children and families to make connections, but also for staff – where else can you play basketball one minute and have a “tea party” the next and get paid for it..?”
- Jen S. (General Manager – apple seeds UWS)

“Our membership at apple seeds has literally changed my life raising 1 year old twins in the city. We have a fun, clean and safe place to go and run around any time we need to (and we go every day!!) My twins have huge grins on their faces from the moment we roll in to check our stroller and get some high fives from the guys who always know their names... and we usually stay long enough to help clean up at the end of the day. I have also made some really wonderful connections with other parents and caretakers at apple seeds, who I look forward to seeing when we come! Parents need a fun, safe place to be themselves too, and apple seeds has helped me stay connected and social as well as my little ones.”
- Beth P. (apple seeds UWS member)

“I love apple seeds because I have so many fun memories there. I really loved science class there.”
- Taber, age 8 (former apple seeds kid)

We’re truly thankful for every mom, dad, caregiver, child, grandparent, aunt, uncle and friend who has walked through our doors (in Chelsea and beyond) and made apple seeds everything we hoped it could be. We have loved watching your kids grow up with us at apple seeds and look forward to seeing them in class and on the playground for another year!

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