June 2, 2017

Early Childhood Resource Center reaches out in at-risk neighborhoods

The mission of the Early Childhood Resource Center is to promote the healthy development of young children by strengthening families, improving the quality of early learning experiences, increasing school and community readiness, and informing public policy.

To help accomplish its mission, the Early Childhood Resource Center holds a number of summer programs in Canton’s neighborhoods. Lywanda, Nickie and their six children are regulars at the center’s summer neighborhood programs and were profiled on the center’s website. The full text of the article is below.

Making an Impact: Summer Fun & Learning

Lywanda and Nickie regularly bring their six children (ranging in age from 6 months to 14 years) to the daily summer outreach programs that are offered at the Jackson Sherrick apartment complex, in cooperation with Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority.

Lywanda eagerly participates with her children during the programs. She likes the wide range of activities offered and appreciates that the activities focus on using common household items as learning tools, instead of expensive purchased items.

And of course, with six children, Lywanda appreciates that there are no age restrictions for the programs. “The summer programs at Jackson Sherrick have allowed my children to have fun and learn all in the same area. I don’t like separating the children because I can only be in one place at a time.”

The programs have especially helped her preschooler, Nickie Jr., understand what will be expected in school. He has learned a lot from the matching and memory games and from the sessions that reinforce colors. “I am teaching, but he is really learning from Miss Jenn.”

It’s also been valuable for him to learn the rules that apply when he’s in a group situation. That way, when he gets to a classroom, he will understand what to do. During the latest session, Nickie Jr. raised his hand when asked to state one of the rules. He very quietly said “listening ears” when prompted by Miss Jenn.

Between programs, at home, the family uses the take-away folder activities that are given out at the programs. The older girls like to use these activities when they play school with the younger ones. They excitedly state, “Let’s play the games we got today.”

The Early Childhood Resource Center is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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