Thursday, January 3, 2008

It's C-O-L-D outside! Maybe you should bring your preschooler to the Early Learning Center at the Library!

Murphy and her dad love working puzzles together in the Early Learning Center.

One of the highlights of our Children’s Services department is a large room, approximately 2200 square feet, devoted to early literacy and pre-numeracy skills. This room is designed to be used by children age 6 and younger with their adults for learning play. It includes a wide variety of participatory learning activities including a drama corner, a writing center, and many reading nooks for adult and child to share books together. A major developmental focus of this room is the absence of technology; no computers, no video screens, no electronic buttons to push. Instead, children are encouraged to use their imagination in participatory, interactive, learner-centered play.

Drake and his mom learn about counting and numbers in the shopping area of the Early Learning Center.

Cousins Micah & Austen play with the train set with Austen's mom.

Gabriella and Fransisca enjoy the Writing Center as mom looks on.

Claire and her Grandma explore the "Babies Only" area of the Early Learning Center.

"Spaceman" Tyler and dad play dress-up in the dramatic play area.

The Early Learning Center focuses on the six primary early literacy skills defined by the National Research Council:

  • Narrative Skills – Being able to tell or retell a story helps children understand what they read.
  • Letter Knowledge – Knowing the names and sounds of letters helps children figure out how to say written words.
  • Print Awareness – Being familiar with printed language helps children feel comfortable with books and understand that print is useful.
  • Print Motivation – Learning to enjoy books
  • Phonological Awareness – Becoming aware of the sounds and parts of words

This is a active learning space which draws families with preschoolers to the Library to play, learn, read, and have fun together.

Come on in and check it out!