What happens when you bring together families, children, Head Start, a library and the School of Education?
Reading and math fun – in Spanish and English.
The School of Education’s Early Childhood Education program partnered with the Zablocki Public Library and the six locations of Centro Hispano Head Start (formerly Guadalupe Head Start Centers) to provide a “Math Blast” on Saturday, Sept. 24. Children attending the event got to choose books to take home with them.
Faculty and staff in Early Childhood Education have been working with the Head Start Centers through Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers (PTT), a five-year grant project to help prepare early childhood teachers to work with young children who are English language learners.
Last year and this year the program has applied for and received money from the SOE’s Children’s Literature fund to purchase bilingual mathematics books for the children in the program. The staff at the Centro locations had brought the need for those types of books to the attention of their SOE partners.
The bilingual math books will help extend learning at home by promoting “math talk” and bilingual language development, according to Lori Becker, project manager for the PTT grant.
At the event, 63 children and 39 adults from six Head Start sites stopped by to choose books. Another 20 or so library patrons with children also were invited to join the Math Blast and receive a book. Between the three organizations involved, there were 42 volunteers helping out. Nancy File and Jennifer Mueller are the co-principal investigators on the PTT grant, which runs through 2017. Rob Longwell-Grice of the Office of Student Services helped out with getting the funding and provided a UWM canopy for the event. Dean Alan Shoho contributed School of Education tote bags for the young readers to bring their books home in.
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