SoHo Playgroup Christmas #1 (1976)
SoHo Playgroup was founded by a group of neighborhood mothers as a series of playdates in various homes and at Thompson Street Playground (now called Vesuvio Playground) around 1970. After that, for a time they met at the Children’s Aid Society until local building owners donated a basement space on the corner of Prince and Wooster (under the restaurant FOOD). Once the Playgroup moved into its own space, it became a bit more structured and organized. Cynthia, a teacher, was hired for $50 cash per week and the parents paid $20 per child per week and were required to “work” one day per week. The Playgroup operated weekday mornings, and each morning a group of three parents would help Cynthia look after the fifteen children, thus giving the children a fun place to play and socialize while the other parents had some free time. An “after-school” program was also set up where groups of five children each would visit a rotating list of lofts to play during the afternoon hours.