Children's Expo focused on literacy and language

Regional KidsFirst Area 12 and the Good Spirit School Division have partnered to bring a Children’s Literacy Expo to communities surrounding Yorkton, which included the community of Preeceville on March 5.

“The ministry of education is provided funding to KidsFirst programs to provide local literacy and language events and opportunities for groups of families with children under six,” statedChlorisa Erickson, Regional KidsFirst early years community developer.Early Years Community Developers across the province are busy partnering with community service providers to offer early years literacy programming. In support of the GSSD Strategic Plan Goal, "By June 2020, 90 percent of students exiting kindergarten will be ready for learning." These mini Children’s Expos are taking place in eight communities across the region.

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Other communities involved included: Canora, Churchbridge, Melville, Norquay, Kamsack, Keeseekoose and Cote Chief Gabriel School.

At the Children’s Literacy Expos; following the theme of Eat, Play, Learn; families travel around to different fun, engaging and interactive learning stations provided by local community service providers, said Erickson.

The stations focused on literacy and include storytelling, healthy eating, play time, physical literacy, phonological (sound structure of words) awareness and rhyming to help demonstrate simple learning activities for parents and caregivers to do at home with their children. Parents and caregivers will also have the opportunity to connect with and gain information from Public Health, Children’s Therapies, Speech and Language Pathologists, Parkland Early Intervention, KidsFirst, Parkland Valley Sport Culture and Recreation, Triple P Parenting and many more, she stated.

The 13 stations featured: the interactive storytelling station staffed by Good Spirit School Division Literacy coaches and MMM Cookies, Parkland Early Childhood Intervention reading a Robert Munsch book and using playdough to recreate the story, rhyme time with songs and rhymes with the Kamsack Family Resource Centre, physical literacy which featured fundamental movement skills with Parkland Valley Sport Culture and Recreation, importance of play with creative and dramatic play, cooking together making yogurt parfaits, creation station staffed by the Yorkton Family Resource Centre featuring creating crafts with recycled materials, and Ready to Read featured phonological awareness skills and a partnership with GSSD Speech and Language pathologists and Saskatchewan Health Authority speech and language pathologists, Healthy Me and Saskatchewan Health Authority public health nurses. The graffiti wall focused on colouring on a paper covered wall. Positive play time featured free play with Triple P Parenting guidance. Indigenous storytelling focused on traditional teachings with Jenny McKay from KidsFirst.

The last station featured my curious brain and included mindfulness and breathing activities with the Saskatchewan Healthy Authority early childhood counsellor.