Press Release

The Strong Museum Announces Expanded Woodbury School

Published January 27, 2022

News release

For more information contact: Shane Rhinewald, The Strong, srhinewald@museumofplay.org;


ROCHESTER, NY—The Strong National Museum of Play today unveiled a new, expanded Woodbury School for preschool and early kindergarten students, which includes two state-of-the-art classrooms, an art studio, and the Mucci Family Literacy Studio. The school, founded in 2005, is inspired by the Reggio-Emilia approach and emphasizes play-based education. With its new space, Woodbury School will be able to serve more than 120 students annually, nearly 50% more than previously, and offer valuable summer enrichment opportunities for students.

New classroom space

“With the museum expanding as part of the larger Neighborhood of Play project, we were able to look at the current building and make renovations to grow some of our most mission-critical programs like Woodbury School,” says Steve Dubnik, president and CEO. “One of the most important components of a Reggio Emilia-inspired program is the classroom environment itself. Now The Strong can provide an ideal classroom experience for every young mind who learns, grows, and plays at Woodbury School, to go along with the museum’s interactive and educational exhibits used for lessons and activities.”

The new space includes large windows to let in natural light; one-way classroom observation windows to facilitate professional development; open areas meant to encourage class discussions and active play; updated furnishings and technological improvements; an art studio for creativity and expression; direct proximity to an outdoor play garden for growing plants and vegetables; and the Mucci Family Literacy Studio, generously funded by Martin and Darcy Mucci. Other key donors include the William & Sheila Konar Foundation, Lisk Morris Foundation, and Mary C. Valentine.

“The added capacity at Woodbury School allows us to better serve the needs of our community and scale scholarship offerings for families who qualify for financial aid,” says Tyana Velazquez-Smith, the museum’s assistant vice president for education. “We know that the
absolute best way for children to learn is through play—and now we have the ideal environment to maximize the style of playful learning Woodbury School has always excelled at.”

To learn more about Woodbury School or to register, visit www.museumofplay.org/woodbury-school/ or join The Strong for an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, February 2. No registration is required for the open house. Tuition-based assistance is made possible by generous donors like Mary C. Valentine.

About The Strong

The Strong is the only collections-based museum in the world devoted solely to the history and exploration of play. It is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the World Video Game Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, the Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play and houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play.