Children's literacy bus comes to town
Literacy tips offered for parents of preschool-aged children
By: Susan Jones
| Posted: Saturday, Aug 25, 2012 06:00 am
It’s called The C.O.W. Bus, and it will be parked in front of St. Albert Place next Thursday.
But while it’s been painted to look like a Holstein, this vehicle has nothing to do with bovine creatures. Instead, this bus is a moo-ving literacy experience for parents and their children age zero to six.
The C.O.W. Bus is the Centre for Family Literacy’s Classroom on Wheels. The provincial government sponsors the project and the bus travels around Alberta offering support to parents along with suggestions to make reading with their children more fun.
Last year the C.O.W. Bus visited 81 communities but missed St. Albert because of vehicle problems.
“We were supposed to come to St. Albert last year, but just that day, the bus broke down. This year the bus is in good repair, so I am looking forward to being there,” said program co-ordinator Megan Vander Griend.
The bus will be on location from 1 to 8 p.m. and families with preschool-aged children are invited to come onboard to try out the games, puzzles, books and toys. Even infants will benefit from the suggested programs, Vander Griend said.
“The power of play and early literacy is so important even for tiny babies. Lullabies and rhymes are the foundation of language and that early foundation will stay with those infants all their lives.”
Vander Griend, who is an early-childhood teacher, has suggestions for reading to toddlers as well as babies.
“Those kids who cannot sit still may be bored. Maybe they want a different story. But sometimes you don’t need to read every single word on the page. Maybe it’s just sharing the experience of reading a few pages and talking about the pictures,” she said.
The Centre for Family Literacy is partnering with the St. Albert Public Library to bring the C.O.W. Bus to town and to offer a 90-minute literacy workshop to parents that begins at 6:30 p.m.
“The bus will shut down at 6:30 p.m. and parents will go inside the library with the facilitator to learn about early literacy,” Vander Griend said, adding that the workshop is an adult-only activity.
All activities on the bus and the workshop are offered free of charge and registration is on a drop-in basis.