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New Born Learning Trail at Twin Lakes' Project Playground dedicated
Published: 07/22/2010 17:06:00
Last Saturday, the new Born Learning Trail at Twin Lakes Project Playground was dedicated and formally opened to the public. The Trail, developed by United Way Worldwide, is Alaskas first Born Learning Trail, and it aims to help start off childrens education with a strong foundation through their parents.

Brenda Hewitt, President of United Way of Southeast Alaska explained how many children today are unprepared for school: We found that almost 50% of our kids are starting school not ready to succeed in learning. And that means that they dont know the difference between an A and a B and a C, or they dont know the difference between a 1 2 or a 3, or they dont know the difference between a square or a circle or orange and red. So its really important for us to try and gets kids ready to succeed at school, so that by the time they get to be 3rd grade they ought to be reading. And if theyre not, theyre going to struggle all the way through school, and theres a better chance that they are going to drop out. So all of this starts really young.

The Born Learning Trail was built in late May, and is mostly targeted at adults to help them engage with children.

Basically its silent education, cause a lot of people arent taught how to be parents. And so this is a good way for people to learn; care givers, parents, babysitters, grandparents; to kind of remember what its like to try and engage the kids in some fun activities that also help them learn new things. Hewitt explained.

The Born Learning Trails are popular in the lower 48 where they have been constructed in both English and Spanish. And the reception to Alaskas first trail has also been positive.

Amber King was visiting the trail with her children Mary Jane (4) and Freyja (6 weeks). I think a lot of the parents, you know, having little prompts to prompt them into asking questions and engaging with the children while theyre out on the trail I think is really important because it kind of fosters that lifelong curiosity and, you know, that being outside and active is a good place to be, especially in Alaska. Said King.

United Way also has an indoor version of the Born Learning Trail for use around the community.

http://www.bornlearning.org/

By: Mikko Wilson - mikko@kath.tv