GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL — Some say hands-on learning is the best teaching method.
If that’s the case, the children who attend the Learning Journey Program offered by the Exploits Valley Community Coalition are well on the way to knowing their community of Grand Falls-Windsor.
“The program is for children just to become more aware of what is in their community, and the different people who work there, and to have fun,” said Holly Jenkins, program co-ordinator at the Exploits Valley Community Coalition.
The Learning Journey started approximately five years ago, and is currently offered Monday mornings for children ages one to six. It’s not offered all the time, but it has been running this fall, and organizers are hoping to run it all winter.
“We started one January for Family Literacy Day and we went to Dominion and played an alphabet game,” Jenkins said. “Then we started to go to all the different places in the community.”
Participants have been to Dominion, Sobeys, Wanda’s Bake Shop, Castle Notre Dame Agencies, the fire station, town hall, Kent, Patches, Toyota, and McDonalds among other places. Most recently they went skating at the Joe Byrne Memorial stadium.
There are other learning opportunities as well. At Kent they played a game finding products of certain colours and shapes, and at Dominion they played an alphabet game finding fruits and vegetables starting with certain letters.
“I really think the fire station visit was awesome and because I dressed up (in firefighting equipment) it totally got the point of what they were aiming to do,” Jenkins said of the visit to the Grand Falls-Windsor Fire Department.
During that visit the firefighter doing the presentation aimed to show the children that despite all the intimidating equipment they wear during a call, firefighters are their friends.
“And what really impressed me, the guy who was up doing it said if you see someone dressed like this during a fire, you come up and give us a hug. I thought that was awesome because that’s how firefighters carry them out.”
The Learning Journey is one of many programs offered by the coalition.
Other programs include library time at the Harmsworth Public Library and Jigga Jump at Fundamentals Family Fitness Centre.
There are also programs offered at the centre including toddler art time, and a different “play and learn” session each month.
The Family Moments Family Resource Centre offers other programs for children from birth to six years. Fore more information, visit Family Moments (Family Resource Centre GFW) Facebook page, or the Exploits Valley Community Coalition Facebook page.