Play. Learn. Fun. Read.
Words that don’t typically go together in a child’s mind, but this week at downtown Raleigh’s Marbles Kids Museum, kids will be playing to learn and reading for fun during the museum’s first Word Week.
What was initially planned to be a single day promoting family literacy, Word Week grew into a five-day event engaging children, families, and community organizations within the museum and beyond. With NC State College of Education students and faculty partnering with the museum on the planning and coordination of the event.
“My partnership with Marbles Kids Museum came out of the college’s summit last spring,” said Dr. Jill Grifenhagen, Assistant Professor of Literacy Education. She works alongside the museum’s community engagement leaders to promote early literacy and school readiness in the community.
“We brought students in on the planning and volunteering in order to get their fresh ideas and perspectives, as well as to give them a professional learning opportunity focused on learning through play, engaging families, and community outreach.”
Leading activities like “Fishing for Letters,” “Once Upon a Marble,” and “Cooking Up Healthy Play,” NC State students will gain experience getting children involved in the learning process and helping families learn how to continue the play and literacy learning at home.
“I think that events like this make my experience at NC State more valuable,” said Maura Murphy, a junior Elementary Education major. “Because they allow me to take what I learn in my classes and actually apply it to see how it works in action. I learn so much in my classes each day, so it’s nice to know that what I am learning will make a difference and help others.
Fewer than half of children from low-income families meet preparation standards for kindergarten, and only 75% of children from higher-income families are, says Grifenhagen.
“One of my passions is ensuring all children have rich, engaging early language and literacy experiences that will set them up for a lifetime of reading and writing,” she said.
“Community organizations and institutions like Marbles can reach many families not enrolled in high-quality early childhood programs, and they provide critical learning opportunities for children and families alike. I am excited to partner with Marbles on this great event, and to get our students involved spreading the message that early language and literacy learning can look like fun play!”
Marbles Word Week begins Feb.1 and run through Feb. 5. Visit the museum’s website for a full schedule of Word Week events.