Meredith Ghrist Bergstrom
Springdale, AR- June 30, 2010– Learning happens everywhere a child goes, but parents, grandparents and caregivers may not always know how to support that learning.
That won’t be the case at The Jones Center. When Mom and Dad, Aunt Amy and Grandpa take their favorite young child to The Jones Center now, they’ll be able to play fun games together that will help the child go to school ready to succeed.
That’s because Generation GIVE, a United Way of Northwest Arkansas affiliate group, created an outdoor interactive early learning Trail at The Jones Center. Generation GIVE is a young professionals group dedicated to developing the next generation of philanthropists and community leaders in Northwest Arkansas. In 2010 the group chose to focus on United Way’s impact area of education, and the Trail is a product of this. The Trail is sponsored by Tyson Foods. Materials for the Trail were donated by the Home Depot in Rogers.
Based on the latest early childhood research and approved by national early learning experts through United Way Worldwide, the Born Learning Trail is designed to help adults interact with children to boost language and literacy development and to help caregivers understand how to best support early learning in outdoor everyday moments.
There are 10 signs in English and Spanish on the Born Learning Trail, each including activities and tips for creating learning opportunities. See! Say! Point! Read! encourages playfulness with letters and sounds, building pre-literacy skills. Hop! Toss! Shake! Wiggle! gets children’s brains and bodies moving, building fine and gross motor skills as well as the thinking that’s key to kindergarten success. Describe! Compare! Learn! encourages children to think in ways that build readiness for reading and math.
The Trail was designed through the national Born Learning initiative, which recognized that parents are children’s first educators and often need help knowing how to fill this role. Almost half of America’s kindergarteners are coming to school at risk of failure, according to the U.S. Department of Education. According to the Arkansas Department of Education, 39 percent of Washington County 4th graders are not achieving proficiency in reading.
Generation GIVE would like each city in Northwest Arkansas to have a Born Learning Trail, if locations and sponsorships can be secured.
Parents who need Born Learning materials or information and resources about early learning programs can call 877.750.1221, visit www.bornlearning.org , or visit The Jones Center.
For more information about Generation GIVE, upcoming events, or how to become a member, visit the Generation GIVE facebook page, contact Meredith Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 877.750.1221.
About United Way of Northwest Arkansas
United Way is dedicated to helping advance the good of all in our community through focusing on the key issue areas of education, income and health to create lasting changes in our community. By engaging individuals and companies around giving, advocating and volunteering for these types of issues we can all work to Live United in Northwest Arkansas. For more information about how to Live United or about the work of United Way in Northwest Arkansas, please visit our website: unitedwaynwa.org.