I was greeted at the door by a Thriving at Three intern. As we walked down the hallway I could hear kids playing and others chatting about what the weekend will bring. The energy in the room was so bright that it warmed my heart. Something in the room smelled so good it was making my stomach grumble. After a couple of minutes everyone met on the colorful carpet for story time. The storyteller read one of my favorite child story books, No David!
Storyteller: “No David! Don’t play with your food!”
The mothers giggled at the déjà vu while their kids practiced charades……
Next we read A Cocinar and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
That Thursday our focus was on “active reading.”
After storytime we took a break for lunch, which was a delicious spanish meal prepared by some of the mothers. Between bites of arroz con pollo verde, I took some time to meet the children and their mothers. The children were very playful and excited to be surrounded by other kids. We built block towers and spelled our names in alphabet letters. Everyone in the room was smiling cheek to cheek. There were about 15 mothers and 17 children filling the room.
Following lunch, the children went outside to play because the weather was so nice. The mothers met around a table to have their own active reading class. During the class, we learned how to bring a book to life and apply it to everyday life. The mothers were shown the benefits of reading to their children often. Together they came up with examples and practiced how to actively read.
At the end of the meeting the mothers and children walked to the parking lot and spent another 10 minutes enjoying each other’s company. I couldn’t stop thinking about how welcoming and excited everyone was to be together.
By Kendall Rourk