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Little Learners, Big Ideas events build critical thinking in preschool students

Two community events hosted by Little Learners, Big Ideas are planned to build literacy and critical thinking skills in preschool students.

Students participate in a science activity during a Little Learners, Big Ideas family storybook event at Barnes and Noble in November. The next free family storybook event will take place Feb. 20.

Students participate in a science activity during a Little Learners, Big Ideas family storybook event at Barnes and Noble in November. The next free family storybook event will take place Feb. 20.

Little Learners, Big Ideas provides parents and educators with ideas and resources to instill innovation in early childhood.

The February events are centered on the children’s book Llama Llama Red Pajama. Designed for 3- and 4-year-olds, the interactive story times will include hands-on math and literacy lessons. The lessons will also demonstrate approaches parents can employ to encourage innovative thinking in their children.

The first event will be held for students at the Foundry Preschool Academy on Feb. 18. The academy aims to equip students from at-risk families with the skills they need to thrive in kindergarten and beyond. The Foundry serves families on Bowling Green’s west side, which allows the Little Learners, Big Ideas principles to reach new groups of students and parents, said Allison Bemiss, coordinator of program development for Little Learners, Big Ideas.

“This gives us another opportunity to be involved with a community in Bowling Green we haven’t been involved with yet,” she said. “We want to give all children every opportunity to continue playing and exploring because that’s how you become real innovators.”

This will be the second event Little Learners, Big Ideas has held at the Foundry since the preschool’s formation in the fall of 2015. The lessons were well received by the preschoolers during the first event, Bemiss said.

“They’re so eager for hands-on experiences and very curious,” she said. “When we share these experiences, I learn so much from the families and kids.”

A free family storybook event and thinker lab open to the public will be held at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 20 at Barnes and Noble, 1680 Campbell Lane in Bowling Green. A costumed Llama Llama character will be at the event.

Little Learners, Big Ideas also provides a series of videos equipping parents and educators with ideas to instill innovation at www.littlelearnersbigideas.org.

Little Learners, Big Ideas is an initiative of The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU funded by a grant from the PNC Foundation. The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU serves gifted children, their educators and parents through educational opportunities, professional development and a variety of other resources and support. The family storybook events are offered in partnership with Barnes and Noble, Warren County Public Library, and BG Kids.

Contact: Sam Oldenburg, samual.oldenburg@wku.edu or (270) 745-3014

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