MARTIN — Earlier this month, the United Way and Toyota announced they were funding an innovative learning program for preschool children at May Valley Elementary, with an $11,500 grant to get things started.
Now, the Floyd County Board of Education has sweetened the pot to offer the program to any Floyd County resident.
The “bornlearning Academy” is designed to help teach parents and caregivers of children from prenatal to 5 years old how to turn everyday moments into learning opportunities. The bornlearning concept, created by United Way Worldwide and launched as a pilot project in Northern Kentucky in 2010, provides a community resource for parents and teachers to collaborate in early childhood development, so that children are better prepared to learn when they enter school.
“Having this best practice model at May Valley Elementary means we can offer Martin-area parents and caregivers access to hands-on training and strategies they can use every day to help ensure that their children arrive at kindergarten ready to learn,” Superintendent Henry Webb said when the program was announced Nov. 8. “By offering these workshops before the children even enter school, the students avoid having to play catch-up right from the start and have a much greater chance of success throughout their school years.”
Lessons taught during academy workshops include nutrition, how children learn, how to turn everyday moments into learning activities, establishing routines, how to build language skills and building relationships.
The local grant is one of 10 statewide that will help create Toyota ‘bornlearning Academies’ in 10 Kentucky elementary schools this year. Toyota has committed to investing $500,000 over the next five years in preparing Kentucky’s children for kindergarten.
The Floyd County Board of Education voted recently to chip in an additional $2,500, so the program could be offered to anyone in Floyd County.
The next meeting of the bornlearning Academy is Dec. 13, at May Valley. The program will begin with dinner at 5:30 p.m., followed by a workshop session from 6 to 7:30. The event, including dinner and child care, is free