Pequea Valley is in our second year as a Plant the Seed of Learning partner. We’ve enjoyed this collaboration as we’ve worked hard over the past few years to expand our early learning programs. We are a unique situation since we host PTSL in our district, but welcome families of other districts who live close by to attend.
This year we’ve had numerous families consistently attend and it’s been a great time getting to know these families on a more personal level. We know that connecting with families before their child goes to Kindergarten makes a huge impact on the transition to Kindergarten – it helps alleviate anxiety about the transition and has started a positive relationship with the family and school. I believe this is one of the biggest “wins” we have experienced so far by being a partner with Plant the Seed – building a relationship with the family so they know the school is a safe place that exists to help a child succeed.
Throughout our sessions, seeing the child’s excitement about the activities Plant the Seed offers has been another great part about implementing this program. The child gets experience playing with puppets to increase language development, squeezing squirt bottles to help build finger muscles, practices problem solving by putting puzzles together, and so many other activities! Who doesn’t want to come to a workshop and play with fun toys, and get to take some home in a goody bag?!
I overheard a parent at our most recent workshop that she’s been using some of the rhyming resources we gave her and practicing them with her 15-month-old. She said they have sung each song listed in the booklet we gave (which included well over 20 nursery rhymes). This same parent then began talking with another parent who lives in the same district. They began talking about similarities between their lives, talking about their children, and taking time to genuinely connect with each other.
Seeing parents take time to meet one another and intentionally take what they learn at these workshops and apply it to their day-to-day life is the whole reason why we do what we do, and confirms that Pequea Valley will continue partnering with this great county-wide initiative as it helps parents and young children learn together!