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Play, Learn, Grow: Early Childhood Family Education

Every week during the school year, children and their caregivers excitedly enter a room full of brightly colored activities and play areas, eager to spend time with friends old and new.

Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) is a program designed to meet the social, educational, emotional, and physical needs of parents and their children who are ages birth to five years. With locations in the William Kelley School and in the Minnehaha Elementary School, ECFE is helping families along the North Shore, specifically those families located in Lake Superior School District #381.

Children attending ECFE participate in activities centered around literacy, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), and motor development. Upon walking into the classroom, children find tables full of open-ended art projects, building materials, games, playdough, and more.

Early Childhood Coordinator Kim Lenski says, “The sensory table is full of things to explore, such as water, sand, or shaving cream. The housekeeping and block areas offer a place for dramatic play, building math skills, and negotiating with friends. Easel painting is a favorite place for creativity and building motor skills. We sing, learn finger plays, and read stories at circle time.

” While their children are playing, learning, and building friendships, parents have the opportunity to “discuss parenting joys and concerns, share strategies, and learn together,” says Lenski.

This fall’s ECFE sessions began the week of September 26, however, new families are welcome to register anytime. Both the William Kelley and the Minnehaha locations have new parent educators, and the Minnehaha features a “cozy new space for parents.

” Two Harbors sessions, held at the Minnehaha, meet on Tuesdays at 6pm or Wednesdays at 8:30 or 10:30am. Silver Bay sessions, held at William Kelley, meet on Mondays at 6pm or Tuesdays at 9am. A Silver Bay session on Tuesdays at 11am will be offered, however, the start date is still to be determined. January will see the start of gym night at both locations on Wednesday evenings.

Kim Lenski commented, “We would love to welcome a few more families to our funfilled sessions. ECFE offers a sliding fee scale Play, Learn, Grow: Early Childhood Family Education by Haley Searls and the option to waive the fee. ECFE is truly a program for all families. If you are looking for a place to meet new friends, learn with your child, and have some fun, ECFE is the place for you.

” To register for ECFE, visit https:// lakesuperiorcomed.ce.eleyo.com/. If you have questions, call Kim Lenski at 218-226-4437 ext. 8158, or email her at klenski@isd381.org.

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