Six 2017 Early Childhood Mini-Grants Awarded in Our Communities!
Thanks to a generous grant from the Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation, Healthy Peninsula has been able to award mini-grants to support six different projects in our communities. Priority was given to projects that emphasize partnership or collaboration, will impact sizable numbers of parents and/or children, or have a long-term impact. Check out these new opportunities for early childhood learning.
Castine's Witherle Library
Families with young children have recently moved to Castine, but currently there are no childcare facilities, storytimes, or community programming focused on children. The library plans to reinstate a weekly family storytime that ended two years ago when the local childcare program closed. With the safety equipment and a few key toys appropriate for very young children, key areas of kindergarten readiness can be addressed--gross and fine motor skills, cognitive, social/emotional, communication/language and self-help.
This nonprofit organization is receiving support for purchasing a nursery gym to be used by the their "Parents Are Leaders" program. This equipment, which can be used indoors or outdoors, will help children develop gross motor skills. Community Compass will be raising the additional funds needed for the purchase, so look for an opportunity to donate.
Deer Isle's Chase Emerson Memorial Library
The program "Read S'More Books!" will be offered to children from mid-June to September 1. This is an incentive-based reading program in which children keep track of the time spend reading with adults or older siblings or on their own if they have reading skills, the amount of time spent making them eligible for a reward. The library will also partner with the playground group in Deer Isle by providing some storytimes at the playground and arranging for children to borrow books at the playground.
East Blue Hill Public Library
The library will be purchasing books to distribute to young readers at no cost, especially trying to reach low-income families through the Tree of Life food pantry, local churches, and health clinics. They plan to host a weekly storytime/playgroup at the library for young children and their caregivers. The library will also distribute information about early literacy from the "1,000 Books Before Kindergarten" program and will be soliciting donations of books in good condition to pass along to young readers.
Kindergarten Readiness Resource Book
The kindergarten teacher at Sedgwick Elementary School will use her mini-grant to create a book that, in a user-friendly and understandable way, will help parents and early-childhood educators make sure children are ready for school. She plans to interview local professionals, including special education teachers, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, kindergarten and preschool teachers, and school administrators, about what they can offer and how to contact them. She'll also work with the parents of young children to determine what information they would find most helpful. The book can be made available at health screenings, doctors' offices, and from daycare providers.
Training in mindfulness tools and self-care will be offered to the early-childhood educators at the Surry School. The mini-grant will also support "Being Present with Our Children," a public talk and workshop on mindfulness and social and emotional skills for caregivers of children. These two projects may also lead to a class series.
We hope that you and your children can take advantage of some of these exciting programs that are being offered this summer. Let us know if you need more information.