Thursday, May 26, 2016

Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros 2016

April 24, 2016 marked San Francisco's 18th Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros Celebration! Hosted by the San Francisco Early Literacy Network, families from the Mission District and beyond gathered at Parque Niños Unidos on the corner of 23rd and Treat for a day filled with lectura y cultura, music, dancing, and play!  

The day's festivities were guided by author, clinical psychologist, and community activist Marisol Munoz-Kiehne, Ph.D., known affectionately in the community as "Doctora Marisol." Dra. Marisol has dedicated her career to fostering the well-being of children and families, with special attention to the Latino community, and has been an active participant in Día de los Niños since its inception.  Listen for more: Cuerpo Corazon Comunidad. The music of DJ PakíPayá kept families moving and dancing through the day, while community organizations and performers engaged families in activities to promote early literacy learning and family strengths.  Enjoy photo documentation below, provided by photographer Ed Ritger.

Families who attended the sunny (and windy!) afternoon event enjoyed performances from Destiny Arts Center, Maria Luna, and the Alphabet Rockers.

Each child in attendance was encouraged to choose a 
free book to take home.

Community organizations came together to provide a wonderful variety of family-friendly, interactive activities. Or, in the words of one participant, "an authentic community experience." Check out some of the organizations and activities pictured below!

 Tree Frog Treks brought along critters that captured kids' attention, engaged their senses, and promoted rich conversation about their observations.

Jumpstart volunteers prepared crafts activities that encouraged creativity and development of fine motor skills, such as still life painting and practicing letter writing.

Our Family Coalition presented a read aloud with author Maya Christina Gonzalez (above, left) and hosted a poetry-writing station.

Mission Promise Neighborhood prompted children to creatively model their own imagined neighborhoods.

The New Wheel allowed children to check out bikes and pedal around the celebration on adventurous test rides.

The ELN Día Planning Committee had the privilege of being recognized for their efforts by California Legislature Assemblyman David Chiu. Planning Committee Members that were able to attend the certificate award presentation are pictured below.

Top Row (left to right): Michael Lambert, San Francisco Public Library; Lynne Maes, San Francisco Public Library; Raquel España, Raising A Reader; Kelsey Gottschalk, Tandem, Partners in Early Learning; Mary Ellen Massa, San Francisco Public Library; Teresa Ramirez, Jumpstart; Hannah Johnson, Tandem Partners in Early Learning; Bottom row: Christy Estrovitz, San Francisco Public Library; Genesis Garcia, Field Agent for Assemblyman David Chiu; Alicia Torres, Jumpstart; Cristina Mitra, San Francisco Public Library 

The Early Literacy Network would like to extend a HUGE "Thank You!" to all who attended, to all who helped put this event together, and to those who supported us in sorting out last minute issues. It was a great event this year, and we hope to have your continued support in making next year just as memorable!

Child plays with props from Tandem, Partners in Early Learning's Literacy Photobooth Activity

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead: Discovery Science & Art Through Play

On February 27th, early childhood educators gathered to recognize the importance of introducing the concepts of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics to children at very young ages.

Our 7th Annual ELN Buffet began with a nourishing breakfast, an opportunity to network and greet friends and colleagues, and view a special video produced by the SFPL  . . . . all about US!

A rich morning of professional development commenced with an exciting keynote by Erin Fortescue of the Center for Childhood Creativity at the Bay Area Discovery Museum.  Her presentation, Curiosity Creates:  Research and Best Practices in Creativity Programming for Children sparked meaningful conversations throughout the morning, as participants brought the ideas, resources, and questions inspired by Fortescue's presentation to each of the breakout sessions.

Pulsing Word and First Book engaged educators with an interactive workshop devoted to discovering the joys of engineering in the early care environment, entitled Roll with it! Nurturing Young Engineers through Play. Using a combination of found materials, classic blocks, and Kodo Kids Ramps and Pathways sets (come play with them at your local public library!), educators explored some core principles of engineering: systems thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, optimism, and ethical considerations.  Even educators who work with our youngest--infants and toddlers--walked away with ideas for how to bring an "engineering perspective" to their environment.

Tandem and Jumpstart offered Expressing Math Through Art and Design.   workshop was designed to help educators explore the importance of both math and visual arts in the preschool curriculum, as well as to learn and practice new ways of thinking, talking about and teaching math and art concepts, separately or together.   Educators participated in hands-on activities that could be transferred directly into their classrooms while building the confidence they need to design and integrate their own activities in the future.

As always, our goal was to provide San Francisco educators with a morning of learning, networking, and plenty of opportunity to play!  Looking forward to the 8th Annual Buffet in 2017!