Early-Reader Literacy Event Attracts 400+ Preschoolers, Parents and Educators
The most influential times in a young child’s life are often linked to fun experiences and memorable events. When parents, who are typically a child’s first teacher, engage their children in play, they are creating lifelong learning skills. Recognizing the important link between play and learning, the YWCA Lake County offers parents many free interactive and fun educational programs to enable them to prepare a strong foundation for their child’s success in school and life.
One recent event, the annual Winter Festival of Stories, welcomed over 400 area residents (including 300+ preschoolers). Held at Greenbelt Cultural Center in North Chicago, the free early-reader literacy event was organized by YWCA Lake County Parent Services Department to support its “Project SUCCEED”, which recognizes the need for school readiness and provides parents of young children with ideas and activities to enhance reading skills at home.
The highlight of the day was the group reading of the book “Quiet Bunny, Noisy Puppy” written by acclaimed children’s author Lisa McCue and performed by a storyteller from Paddy Lynn Storyacting for Children in Mundelein. In addition, every family received a free copy of the featured book, and each child received a bag full of books and a healthy sack lunch to take home.
“The families we serve do not have the funds for enrichment programs. These parents want educational opportunities for their kids, so we plan our literacy programs as fun community events that helps to put underserved children on the road to reading,” said Elvira Ortega, Parent Services Manager for YWCA Lake County. “’Project SUCCEED’ is a year-round program that offers vital educational literature, parent workshops, literacy events, mentoring, and much, much more to promote school readiness.”
Through “Project SUCCEED”, YWCA Lake County Parent Services Department provides support and tools to families so that literacy is encouraged everywhere — while driving, walking home, taking the bus, at the grocery store, playgrounds, laundromats, libraries, and everywhere else. Parents involved with “Project SUCCEED” do not generally have English as their first language or are from cultures that have not reinforced the benefits of becoming involved in their children’s reading and education.
“Project SUCCEED” literacy events, offered since 2007, have become so popular that two events are now scheduled annually. The next one, Read for Joy, is planned for June 2014.
About YWCA Lake County
YWCA Lake County is a multi-faceted social service organization that provides programs and services to over 30,000 underserved, uninsured and low-income families in Lake County to help them achieve self-sufficiency and improve and enrich their lives. Incorporated in 1922 and dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women, it is the only YWCA in Lake County. Through the years, YWCA Lake County has evolved to meet the challenging economic times and changing demographics in the community and currently offers programs and services in both English and Spanish). For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please call 847-662-4247 or visit ywcalakecounty.org.