VALPARAISO | The University of Phoenix, in conjunction with United Way’s Success By 6 Initiative, launched the opening of the Valparaiso Children’s Library Born Learning Trail.
This is the first Born Learning Trail in a library in the region. Typically, Born Learning Trails are outdoors in park settings.
Success By 6 and the University of Phoenix worked with the children’s librarians to modify and incorporate the Born Learning Trail for a library setting. This involved stenciling the carpet and changing and modifying the traditional signs used in Born Learning Trails, as well as changing the wording on the signs.
There are seven signs on the Born Learning Trail, each including individual educational activities for children. For example, the Watch! Stop! Play! sign encourages the caregiver to follow the child’s lead, building the child’s curiosity and confidence while reinforcing the learning already under way. The different activities are designed to get caregivers to interact with children to boost language and literacy development.
At each station, children are encouraged to interact with their environment and with their companions and become physically and mentally active. Also, the University of Phoenix donated Little Tykes learning centers, new furniture and interactive educational displays for the children’s section at the library.
Jacob Wright enjoyed his time at the opening while playing with the newly donated computers.
“The computers are exciting and fun learning experience for my daughter," Wright said.
The trail was built as the result of a partnership between the University of Phoenix and United Way Success By 6. University of Phoenix has sponsored two other Born Learning Trails at Valparaiso’s Hilltop Neighborhood House and Munster’s Centennial Park. University of Phoenix also sponsored a Success By 6 full scholarship for an early childhood professional earlier this spring.
Sharon Kish, president of United Way of Porter County, said, “We are so excited about our partnership with the University of Phoenix and the Valparaiso Library.
"Preparing our children for success in school is one of the most important gifts that adults can provide our kids," Kish said. "We are grateful to the University of Phoenix for investing in our children’s success."