The Strong Receives Grant for Woodbury School

The Strong News Release
One Manhattan Square Rochester, NY 14607 585-263-2700

November 30, 2018

For Immediate Release

Shane Rhinewald, 585-410-6365,

Noelle McElrath-Hart, 585-410-6325,

The Strong Museum Receives $500,000 Grant
to Construct State-of-the-Art
Woodbury School Classrooms

ROCHESTER, NY—The Strong is pleased to announce that it has received a grant of $500,000 from the William and Sheila Konar Foundation to assist with the construction of two, state-of-the-art classrooms and a garden area for the museum’s Woodbury School, which offers preschool and early kindergarten programs. The grant will increase the school’s capacity to serve area students, as well as provide additional spaces for summer enrichment programs and play-based professional development offerings for educators in the region.

“The Strong plays a critical role in our community,” says Howard Konar, a trustee of the William and Sheila Konar Foundation. “Through its Woodbury School, the museum impacts the lives of many students in our region and shares the educational power of play. We’re proud to help The Strong expand its learning space and extend its reach so that so that more children in our community, including those with financial need, can benefit from attending Woodbury School.”

The Strong’s Woodbury School, founded in 2005, currently serves more than 70 students. The new classroom spaces will allow for a 50% increase in enrollment and provide, among other features, large windows for natural light; open areas to allow class discussions and active play; an art studio where students can express their creativity with paints and sculpture materials; one-way observation windows for parents and educators; new security features; and direct proximity to a redesigned Woodbury garden, where students will grow herbs and vegetables and learn about healthy eating.

“Woodbury School is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, which encourages play and student-driven learning,” says Debbie McCoy, The Strong’s assistant vice president for education. “The approach also sees the learning environment as crucial to the educational experience, almost another teacher of sorts, and these new spaces will help facilitate the exploration of the children’s interest. The generosity of the William and Sheila Konar Foundation will have a lasting impact on students, parents, teachers, and other educators in the Rochester community.

The construction of these new educational spaces will occur concurrently with the museum’s 100,000-square-foot expansion project.

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. 

About the William and Sheila Konar Foundation

The William & Sheila Konar Foundation is a private grant-making entity founded in 1982. Guided by the philanthropic goals and priorities of its founders, the Foundation supports programs, institutions, and organizations in Rochester, New York, and elsewhere. The driving force behind its giving is William and Sheila Konar’s commitment to opportunity, and their desire to help others in their community grow
and prosper.