Early literacy program serves children 'While They Wait' at doctor's office
The Elgin Partnership for Early Learning is partnering with Greater Elgin Family Care Center to bring the While You Wait early learning initiative to center's waiting rooms this summer.
Modeled after the successful Language in the Laundromat Campaign, which created early learning experiences for families at two local laundromats in Elgin, the While You Wait initiative will create early learning spaces and experiences for families in waiting rooms.
This initiative is part of Elgin Partnership for Early Learning's strategy of reaching families where they are in the community and bringing early learning materials and activities within families reach.
As part of the While You Wait initiative, Elgin Partnership for Early Learning created bilingual, educational flipbooks with activities for parents to interact with their children as they wait to be seen by their doctor.
The flipbooks will be available in Greater Elgin Family Care Center's Summit Health Center and Seneca Health Center and Dental Clinic in Elgin and at Streamwood Community Health Center in Streamwood.
"While we always do our best to see patients at their scheduled time, sometimes they arrive early, or we're running a bit late" said Bob Tanner, President and CEO of Greater Elgin Family Care Canter, "While You Wait takes advantage of a special moment -- parents and child, alone, undistracted -- what a great opportunity for some reading, bonding and special family time!"
"Elgin Partnership for Early Learning is excited to partner with GEFCC as a launch site for this initiative because they serve a large percentage of the 12,000 children ages birth to five in Elgin" said Amber Peters, Elgin Partnership for Early Learning Executive Director. "Health care partners are a key piece of the equation of having all children ready for kindergarten as they are the first person to have consistent contact with a family and are trusted messengers."
Elgin Partnership for Early Learning believes a parent is the best and most important teacher for children and that learning starts at birth in the home. The "While You Wait" initiative will promote the five simple practices of "Talk, Play, Read, Do and Write" so that parents can help their children during the critical period of early brain development which starts at birth. Reading and talking to children are the most essential practices for optimal brain growth and both Elgin Partnership for Early Learning and Greater Elgin Family Care Center hope that the While You Wait initiative will encourage parents to interact with their children in the waiting rooms.
Elgin Partnership for Early Learning is grateful for the financial support of Elgin Township, without whose support this project would not be possible.
Elgin Partnership for Early Learning's mission is to intensify the impact of local efforts that prepare children for kindergarten by integrating over 50 partners expertise and resources to build a connected community dedicated to helping young children thrive. Its vision is for children to be happy, healthy, and ready for kindergarten.
The Elgin Partnership for Early Learning works to support and meet families where they are in the community through traditional and nontraditional means like early learning opportunities in the Laundromat, medical centers and food pantries. For information, visit www.elginpartnership.org or www.facebook.com/theEPEL/.
The Greater Elgin Family Care Center is a nonprofit Community Health Center which provided care to more than 50,000 different people via over 160,000 appointments in Fiscal Year 2018. It offers care out of nine health centers in Chicago area counties, and is accredited and certified as a Primary Care Medical Home by The Joint Commission. For details, visit gefcc.org.