Learning is made fun again for Pine Belt children.
The GRACE Learning Center in Brooklyn is aimed toward making playtime a part of learning.
"I have a favorite quote that says 'play is very serious business' and it is," says Center Director Kay Boone. "It's the way children learn. It's the best way for children to learn."
GRACE Learning is housed in the old Brooklyn United Methodist Church and is supported by Title I funding as well as members of the community. All parents in the Forrest County School District who have pre-school age children are welcome at the center.
"Our goal is for parents to bring their kids and play and learn how to take play to a new level," says Boone. "They can use play as a means of getting ready for kindergarten."
Boone says this target is the parents, hoping the educational interaction at the center will carry over into the home.
"Research shows that 50% of your intelligence is developed by age four," says Boone.
The center has two areas: an interactive play room and a parent center. The play room has things like a reading nook, games and an area that looks like the Black Creek, complete with kayaks and life jackets
The parent center is the home of the library where books can be checked out or read in-house, along with resources on the center's two laptops. The center will be staffed by Boone and another former educator. Activities will have directions for parents and children to follow and will be designed around the Common Core State Standards. There will also be a take-home tip for parents.
GRACE Learning Center will have its grand opening on October 5 from 10:00 a.m.-noon. The center will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 a.m.-11 a.m.
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