Friday, November 21, 2014

Early Learning Fun

E.L.F participants at Weyauwega Public Library
Because of the statewide Growing Wisconsin Readers initiative, we wanted to develop additional programming for preschoolers.  So, we launched a new program called E.L.F. (Early Learning Fun). Our intent is to roll it over into current fall children’s programming, Babygarten, Rhyme Time and Story Time.  It was a two-person effort for teaching and planning.

Our curriculum focused on letters, numbers, colors and shapes, and we built activities around the story of “The Three Little Pigs.” We used a song sheet and a variety of practice sheets, games and props.  Each child had a name tag that highlighted the first letter of their
Alphabet awareness name tags
name along with an animal picture.  At the beginning of each session, children were encouraged to find their own name tags. Caregivers were asked to sign in and actively participate in the sessions.

Overall, we felt that the program was successful. Two issues we discovered were attendance was not as consistent as we would have liked and back-to-back scheduling with another program didn't work. Attendance may have been a summer issue because
Props for "Three Little Pigs" activities
of vacations and other activities.  Our original intent was 30 minutes of structured activity followed by free play time and conversation opportunities between caregivers and us.  Next year we intend to schedule differently so we have more time. At the end of the sessions, we prepared take-home packets with materials we used, follow up worksheets, and a brochure about fall programming. Although it involved lots of planning and set up, we intend to offer it again next summer.  Feedback from those involved was very positive. Please feel free to contact us with questions; we would be glad to share.

Kelly Kneisler & Kathy Mattern, Library Staff
Weyauwega Public Library, Weyauwega, WI

Photos provided by the authors