Play & Learn: Kindergarten Readiness Program Expanding
September 28, 2016
The 4C for Children Play & Learn program is expanding this September to four new Ohio and Kentucky communities. Parents and children living in Williamstown, Ky., and Goshen, Lebanon and Westwood, Ohio, will now have access to the program that helps promote learning through play and exploration. Currently 4C facilitates 11 groups, with further expansion to come!
The target audience for these biweekly Play & Learn groups are young children (birth to age 5) not in formal child care programs along with their parents or family, friend or neighbor caregivers.
The groups, based on the national Kaleidoscope Play & Learn® Program, are led by trained facilitators, assisted by volunteers, who plan culturally and developmentally appropriate play activities for children that they and their caregivers participate in together.
The free 90-minute, every-other-week sessions occur on the following dates in the following locations:
- Covington, Ky.: 2nd and 4th Wednesday from 9:30-11 a.m. at the Kenton County Public Library
- Newport, Ky.: 1st and 3rd Wednesday from 9:30-11 a.m at the Campbell County Public Library
- Williamstown, Ky.: 2nd and 4th Friday from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Grant County Public Library
- Amelia/Union Township Ohio: 2nd Friday (Amelia branch library) and 4th Friday (Union Township branch library) from 10-11:30 a.m.
- Goshen: 1st and 3rd Friday from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Goshen branch of the Clermont County Public Library
- Lebanon: 1st and 3rd Thursday from 10-11:30 a.m. at Lebanon Presbyterian Church (Begins Oct. 6)
- Middletown: 1st and 3rd Thursday from 10:30 a.m.-Noon at the Parent Resource Center
- Norwood: 2nd and 4th Thursday from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Norwood Church of the Nazarene
- Springdale: 1st and 3rd Tuesday from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Springdale Church of the Nazarene
- Westwood: 1st and 3rd Friday from 10:30 a.m.-Noon at the Westwood branch library (Begins Oct. 7)
- Wilmington: 2nd and 4th Tuesday from 10:30 a.m.-Noon at the Wilmington Public Library.
Through experiences at these group sessions, adults learn what they can do to support children's healthy development and learning so they are ready to begin kindergarten.
"If we are to reach the Bold Goal set by United Way that 85% of all children enter kindergarten ready to learn by 2020," says Carolyn Brinkmann, director of 4C Parent Services, which oversees the 4C Play & Learn Program, "we have to make sure that the large number of children cared for informally by family, friends and neighbors are not left behind."
Play & Learn sessions provide parents and caregivers with
- play strategies to nurture skills children need for future school success,
- ideas for supporting children's learning through everyday activities such as grocery shopping, cooking and bath time,
- information about child development from birth to age 5,
- opportunities for adults and children to interact with each other,
- connections to available community programs and services that offer assistance in raising healthy children.
"These groups are wonderful opportunities for the many parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors and friends who care for young children to build a network of support with other caregivers," says Brinkmann. "And they are also great opportunities for children to have fun participating in learning-through-play activities and interacting with peers."
The 4C Play & Learn program—funded through a grant from Procter & Gamble through United Way of Greater Cincinnati Success By 6® as well as by Norwood Ready Kids, United Way of Clinton County, United Way of Warren County and the Northern Kentucky Community Early Childhood Council—is one of the many ways 4C is working to educate and support the adults who care for children in Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky and the Miami Valley.
"The many services we offer to parents and caregivers are designed to ensure all children have access to quality early childhood experiences" Brinkmann says. "The Play & Learn sessions teach caregivers ways to provide these quality experiences and prepare children for school through everyday activities and play."
For more information about registering for any of the Play & Learn programs, contact 4C Family and Community Services at 513-758-1311.