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Community Foundation Offers Parents Passport to Literacy

The program is for parents in Berlin and Southington

The Southington Resource Center. Contributed photo.
The Southington Resource Center. Contributed photo.

Parents and caregivers throughout the Greater New Britain area — including Southington and Berlin — are being offered a unique opportunity to help their children develop early language and literacy skills at a one-day, free-of-charge “Early Literacy Institute” at Central Connecticut State University on April 12.

The event, made possible by a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain as part of its First Years First early childhood development initiative, is targeted to parents and caregivers from New Britain, Berlin, Plainville and Southington who have one or more children ages 3 through 8. Tutors working with children at Family Resource Centers in the targeted communities are also encouraged to take part. There is no cost to attend and parents must bring their child or children along.

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at CCSU’s Barnard Hall. Advance registration is not required. Participants must sign a Participation Agreement, in which they agree to bring their children, attend all sessions, use the activities learned at home with their children and participate in a follow-up event survey to take place in May.

“This special event offers local parents what essentially will be a fun, enjoyable ‘master class’ in how to engage their children in the joy of reading in meaningful ways,” said Jim Williamson, president of the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain. ”We are hopeful that local parents and caregivers will take part and be as excited about this opportunity as we are.”

The goal of the Institute is to provide parents and caregivers with meaningful and enjoyable essential early language strategies using developmentally appropriate settings, materials, experiences and social support.  At registration, each participant will be given a “Passport to Literacy” which will be stamped at the end of each session indicating completion of workshop training.

The Institute will consist of a series of 10-minute demonstrations of high-quality language and literature-rich literacy sessions. Strategies in the areas of adult talk, alphabet, literacy games, storybook reading, using an electronic tablet and more will be addressed. Each child will receive a children’s book for being a participant.

“We will be providing strategies and activities that are meaningful, enjoyable and developmentally appropriate for the age group, but that are simple enough so that parents can easily integrate them into their daily routines,” said Dr. Helen Abadiano, Professor and Chair of CCSU’s Department of Reading and Language Arts. “This is really a not-to-be-missed opportunity for local parents.”

The Early Literacy Institute is part of CCSU’s 8th Annual Literacy Essentials Conference for professional educators and students. Institute participants are welcome to attend the conference’s opening program and keynote address beginning at 8:20 a.m. at CCSU’s Student Center. All Institute participants will receive a light breakfast and lunch.

For more information on the Early Literacy Institute, please contact Dr. Helen Abadiano at (860) 832-2180 or abadiano@mail.ccsu.edu.

Established in 1941, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain connects donors who care with causes that matter in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. It does this by raising resources and developing partnerships that make a measurable improvement in the quality of life in each of these communities. For more information, visit www.cfgnb.org.

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