Community College invites Trenton area families with young children
to participate in free workshops designed to help them learn together
and grow together. The Trenton Family Literacy Project, funded by
Children's Futures, targets families with children ages 0-3, as
well as their older siblings. The first classes for the fall have
begun; classes to begin at the end of October are currently forming.
Weaver, dean of Mercer's James Kerney Campus (JKC) in downtown Trenton,
"We are proud to assist Children's Futures with its mission
to help every child be prepared for school and ready to learn. This
program gives parents the tools they need to understand their children's
development and prepare their toddlers for early literacy, including
pre-reading and writing, through interactive, guided family activities.
We are working at the community level to supplement and enrich the
learning that goes on in the home."
that parents have many questions. "What should they expect
of their child at various stages of development? How can they provide
the kinds of activities at home that foster success in pre-school
and beyond? Community organizations can play a key role in helping
parents and other home caregivers lay the right foundation."
Weaver, research suggests that the first three years of life are
critical to a child's social, emotional and cognitive development.
"Parents want to learn, and they have much to teach,"
Weaver said. "By working with the whole family, we can help
parents build their child's self-esteem in a supportive environment
that emphasizes the foundations of language and emerging literacy."
Workshop activities foster literacy through story-telling, art,
music, pretend play, and sharing cultural traditions, while using
storybooks to support language development. Participants will receive
free books and activity kits to take home.
to parents/at-home caregivers, the Children's Futures Family Literacy
Project will also reach out to early childhood professionals, paraprofessionals,
and other daycare workers who interact with children on a day-to-day
basis in day care centers. In accordance with new requirements established
by the National Association for the Education of Young Children
(NAEYC), MCCC offers Infant/Toddler Certification, CDA courses,
Adult Basic Education, GED and ESL classes, as well as an A.A. degree
in Education and an A.A.S. degree in Education/Special Education
Assistant. "All of these educational opportunities will enhance
the ability of daycare workers to be effective instructors to our
community's youngest children," Weaver said. She notes that
the state has set 2012 as the certification target date for all
will be held for four sessions, but some may run longer, depending
upon the needs of the group. Classes are small and arranged at convenient
times and locations. In addition to Mercer's James Kerney Campus
at Broad and Academy Streets, other sites include Home Front, El
Centro, Trenton Public Schools, and UIH Family Partners. Workshops
at other sites, including day care centers, may be arranged by calling
Program Coordinator Dana Green at (609) 570-3176.
The mission of Children's Futures is to improve health and development
outcomes for children and their families through community initiatives.
Children's Futures has been developing programs for Trenton families
since 2001 through the generous support of the Robert Wood Johnson