What if every child had five years of education before kindergarten? The reality is that children are learning constantly, right from birth. What they learn during those first five years depends on the experiences they have each and every day. This is our greatest challenge – and our greatest opportunity. Families and others who care for young children understand that the early years are important. Yet many don’t know exactly what to do to encourage early learning, or feel they don’t have time to do what it takes to prepare their child for school.
The United Way of Whiteside County Born Learning Academy provides parents, grandparents and informal caregivers with specific, “doable” action steps – that are fun and easy to do during everyday moments of daily life – to support early learning for young children. The Born Learning Academy uses the best tips, tools and resources to help families take a more active role in preparing their children for kindergarten.
Through a series of six workshops held at Whiteside County schools, the Born Learning Academy will provide families and caregivers of children ages 0-5 with practical, user-friendly ideas to turn everyday activities into learning moments. The Born Learning Academy can do more than strengthen our community’s school readiness efforts—it can also help our school partners engage families before kids start kindergarten. The workshops are led by trained professionals and focus on the following topics and more:
- Building Relationships
- Building Your Child’s Language Skills
- Nutrition and Health
- How Children Learn
- Routines and Learning on the Go
- Academy workshops offer individualized attention and support to families, including:
- Research-based resources to take home, which help parents apply their new knowledge
- Opportunities to practice new skills with their children, and with other parents
- Free, age-appropriate and activity-based childcare
- A gift card for dinner provided at each session
- 10-15 high quality children’s books
- Free tablet at completion of workshops