Field trips reinforce importance of literacy

Head Start students from Baldwin and Bitely took field trips in February that supported their ongoing literacy lessons through practical application.

Early in the month, the children from FiveCAP Bitely Head Start Center visited Pathfinders Library in Baldwin, where they were welcomed by librarian Bonnie Povilaitis.

“They came down and I read three or four stories to them, we sang a song and then they took a little tour and I gave them information about the library,” she said. “I love having the little kids come. Their attention span isn’t much longer than three books, but we enjoy having them. I think the more you can get kids around books, the better it is.”

Center director Violet Brown said the students enjoyed the visit and the chance to check out books.

“The kids love the library,” Brown said. “It’s like they’ve never seen so many books before. The library visit is very important to the literacy component of Head Start.”

Brown said the students’ favorite part of the trip was listening to the stories, and for many, it was their first visit to the library.

Later in the month, the kids from both Bitely and Robert F. Williams (RFW) Child Development Center in Baldwin made valentines and took them to their local post offices.

“It was a fun week,” said Sherry Garrett, one of the Head Start teachers at RFW. “They drew pictures on the cover of cards and inside they wrote their names and then dictated a message to send to the person the card was for.”

The field trips were part of a post office theme, where the kids learned about the entire process a piece of mail goes through.

Learning about mail and the post office gives the students a practical example of the importance of reading and writing, which Garrett said is very important to preschool-aged children.

“It has to be real to them,” she said.