Thursday, June 10, 2010

Carriage House and Providence Library team up for literacy

PUTTING OUT FIRES: Sam Collier acts out his part of a firefighter at Carriage House Day Care, thanks to a free Learning and Reading Kit from Providence Public Library.

Cranston Herald
June 10, 2010
All text and photos by Jen Cowart

When the students at Carriage House Day Care read “Bugtown Fire Truck” by Daniel Kirk, they got to do more than just hear their teachers read the story aloud, thanks to the Providence Public Library and their Learning and Reading Kits (LARK).

The LARK program is free and available to any childcare agency in the state. It allows them to borrow kits that contain books, activity guides, music, worksheets, games, toys or puppets; all bundled up in either a canvas bag or a plastic tub.

By providing these additional resources, the Providence Public Library is helping childcare agencies to provide students with an interactive learning experience.

“It is one thing to read a story about bats, but the experience becomes interactive when puppets, music, games and even a bat costume are all part of the experience,” the Providence Public Library noted in their press release.

At Carriage House, the teachers had received information about the new kits and decided to try one out. With over 100 different themes to choose from, they chose a firefighter kit to help the students connect to their story.

“The kids often struggle with what’s real and what is make-believe,” said Assistant Director Tammy Donohue. Thanks to the LARK program, Donohue said they were able to help their students better understand that concept.

“We were able to extend the conversation that they were real people, playing a character,” she said.

Donohue said that the students benefited from the agency’s ability to connect literacy to drama and music. Each child in the class was able to play a character from “Bugtown Fire Truck.” They put on a live performance of the poem, acting out their parts and using the contents of the LARK kit to enhance their performance.

Donohue was thrilled with the response that the students and teachers had to the kit.

“We were also able to connect this to our spring theme as well,” she said. “And, it was all at no cost to us.”

For more information on the Learning and Reading Kits, contact the Providence Public Library at 455-8000.

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