Read and Romp – Tuscaloosa will be held Saturday, April 13 at Government Plaza from 9 am to noon. Children will engage in fun, learning-based activities themed around favorite children’s books. Kids will leave the event with goodies they have created from an activity at each station, along with a stamped passport and FREE books.
By associating fun-filled activities with reading, parents will learn ways to engage with their child on the life-long journey of learning at an early age. This level of engagement at a young age will help increase their children’s success in school. While centered on a book theme, each station is staffed by organizations and businesses that are child-focused, providing families an opportunity to learn about activities that will enhance the development and education of their young children. Families will also enjoy face painting, character visits, and free beverages.
Read and Romp is a FREE event organized by Alabama Project LAUNCH, Help Me Grow, Tuscaloosa Public Library, United Way of West Alabama and Alabama Public Television with help from our sponsors PNC Bank, Buffalo Rock and Read Bama Read, and the many local agencies who participate in this annual family literacy event .
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The Alabama Project LAUNCH Young Child Wellness Council (YCWC) recently took another step towards improving early childhood mental health and wellbeing in West Alabama. Out of 140 communities nationwide, the Tuscaloosa YCWC was selected to receive funding and support from the NOW Learning Community out of Boston. A diverse group of local stakeholders came together on Tuesday, August 28, to develop a consensus for cross system collaboration in order to support and strengthen the continuum of services for maternal and child wellbeing.
Members of the Council will attend four convening NOW events to work with other grant awardees across the country. The group expects to bring back specific action plans.
NOW builds on Boston Medical Center’s (BMC) Vital Village Network approach to: promote child wellbeing; align systems of care and education in early childhood; and improve neighborhood opportunity structures that promote optimal wellbeing and reduce inequities in child health and education.
“Our Tuscaloosa community of partners, including Stephanie Covarubbia with Early Intervention of CSP, and Trendle Samuel with ADPH to name a few, work hard to address gaps and inequities in children’s health and wellbeing. We are honored to be among those selected nationwide to participate in NOW and receive additional support for our ongoing work,” says Dr. April Kendrick, UA’s Director of Child Development Resources.
The NOW Learning Community will support participants in building a robust set of tools to transform early childhood education and health systems in their neighborhood, city, or county. Each recipient will receive in-depth and tailored technical assistance in mobilizing community leaders; using data and storytelling tools; and communicating with diverse stakeholders.
“Creating a connected community around child health and wellbeing is a goal of the Young Child Wellness Council. We are excited to participate in the NOW Learning Community because breaking down silos in our community will only help all of Tuscaloosa County to support its children and families,” says Amy Crosby, Alabama Project LAUNCH Young Child Wellness Coordinator.
Boston Medical Center’s (BMC) Vital Village Network is working with communities across the country to promote child health and opportunity. Through a $2.2M grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Vital Village selected local organizations to form the Networks of Opportunity for Child Wellbeing (NOW) Learning Community. The Young Child Wellness Council, housed within the College of Human Environmental Sciences, was one of ten communities chosen to address barriers and develop innovative partnerships aimed at improving the early childhood experience.
Read and Romp – Tuscaloosa was an exciting, innovative FREE family literacy event at Government Plaza on Saturday, May 21st from 9am – noon for children 3-5 years of age and their families.
At Read and Romp – Tuscaloosa, children engaged in fun, learning-based activities themed around favorite children’s books. Children left the event with goodies they created from an activity at each station, along with a stamped passport and books. By associating fun-filled activities with reading, parents learned ways to engage with their child on the life-long journey of learning at an early age, which will help increase their children’s success in school.
While centered around books, each station was staffed by organizations and businesses that are child-focused, which provided families an opportunity to learn about activities that will enhance the development and education of their young children. We had 14 organizations that provided amazing hands-on fun activity stations. For example, children touched buttons at the Tuscaloosa Public Library station and created a monster craft to take home, based on the book, Don’t Push the Button. At the Bama Bounders station, children enjoyed a bounce house based on the book, 5 Little Monkeys. Children also enjoyed face painting, character visits, a petting zoo, and listening to a live reading of the books.
Started by the national Reach Out and Read organization in Boston as a signature event, Read and Romp – Tuscaloosa is unique in that it is a collaboration of organizations that have early childhood literacy and family engagement as priorities. We want to thank our main sponsoring organizations this year, Reach Out and Read-Alabama, Alabama Project LAUNCH, The Tuscaloosa Public Library, United Way’s Success by 6, Alabama Public Television, and Macaroni Kid Tuscaloosa.
Belser-Parton Literacy Center
Child Development Resources (PNC)
Literacy Council of West Alabama
Northport Police Department
Parents As Teachers
Read Bama Read
Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre
Tuscaloosa’s One Place