Children have opportunity for learning, fun at Poarch

Published 8:28 am Monday, August 27, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians' Education and Family Services Departments in conjunction with Early Childhood Directions (GRCMA) and the Mobile Museum of Art hosted a fun day for children ages 2-5 Aug. 22.
The Family Services Department manages a Tribal Child Care and Development Grant, which provides childcare services to tribal member children.
PCI Family Services Executive Director Carolyn M. White said the event was not only for fun but it is important that we develop partnerships with DHR, GRCMA, and childcare providers to improve the quality of services for our tribal children through these events.
"This is an early childhood literacy event planned between all of us," White said. "The children have heard stories, sung songs and Alex will give them cultural information at the end of the morning."
Alex Alvarez, PCI cultural education coordinator, told the children a story about morals.
"I'm going to be using one of our old legends to teach them about morals," Alvarez said. "A long time ago children learned life lessons through the stories. It is teaching them about respect."
The story also taught them some words from the Muskogee language.
"They are not only learning an old story but also learning vocabulary words," Alvarez said.
Approximately 50 children were in attendance at the event, which took place at the PCI Family Services Resource Auditorium. Several daycares brought their children for the day of fun and learning. Even Start brought all of their children. Also, Shadaland Day Care, Tiny Town Day Care and First Baptist Church Day Care. Local children from the area were also invited.
Wendy McEarchern, Executive Director of GRCMA, said the children got to participate in an art station brought by The Mobile Museum of Art. Also, the Reading Is Fundamental program brought each child at the event a book to take home.
The highlights at the event included games, the free book, story time, group activities and lunch.
Every child also had a free Polaroid taken at the event to take home.
McEarchern said hopefully early childhood literacy fun events can take place more often in the area. She said the event is an opportunity for the children to break away from everyday activities at their prospective daycares and also it gives the daycare providers the chance to have a more relaxing day.
"We hope this will grow into a regular event," she said. "The children get to participate in art, creative play and an obstacle course. It just provides a day of learning and fun for them."

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