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Northwest Community College Students Bring Story time to Local Children

Students from Northwest Community College's Early Childhood Education (ECE) program will be helping the Terrace Public Library host story time for children from two local daycare centres later this month. Called the Early Literacy Fun program (ELF), the sessions will include stories, songs, poems, language games and art activities and will benefit the library who struggles to meet story time demands from local childcare centres. The sessions will also give NWCC's ECE students a chance to apply the skills they've learned in the classroom to a typical employment setting. "ECE students need to experience community within their education program in real, authentic ways in order to fully appreciate the value of community involvement," explains Joan Turecki, ELF program coordinator and NWCC ECE program instructor. "When students plan for story time, it is not just an assignment. They are planning for a real experience with children resulting in much more effort and reflection which in turn increases the depth of their learning." "The ELF program is a great example of community groups working together to provide excellent resources for local children," explains Terrace's Children's Librarian, Jess Dafoe. "Story time is usually the first step in a child's journey with literacy and studies prove that children introduced to literacy at an early age have a lot more success at school." ELF's one-hour long story time sessions will run for four consecutive weeks on Tuesday afternoons starting January 22. In each session four of NWCC's ECE students will lead up to 18 children aged three to five from Kitsumkalum's Gila Kyew Nluulk Head Start and Day Care, and Terrace's Kermode Friendship Centre Aboriginal Head Start Program. "The program is a wonderful opportunity for our centres children to learn outside of their day-to-day care setting," states Lillian Sampson of Kitsumkalum Head Start daycare. "Going to the library is a very big thing for children and having NWCC's ECE students at our beck and call will be great." "During story time children will listen to stories that will help them connect to print, play language games that develop their vocabulary and understanding of language use, and sing songs and recite poetry that let them hear the sounds of language," explains Turecki. "They will explore story and art connections because art is one of the languages preschool children use that helps them express their ideas and write about them." There is a great demand in the Northwest for qualified and dedicated Early Childhood Educators who can provide quality care and education. Early Childhood Educators have the knowledge and ability to support the healthy development and needs of each birth to school-aged child in a play-based environment. Northwest Community College offers three levels of Early Childhood Education: a Basic Level Certificate Program, a Post Basic Certificate Programs (Infant/Toddler and Special Needs) and an ECE Diploma. Graduates from the NWCC ECE program find employment in a variety of settings such as daycares, supported child development programs, out-of-school care programs and family childcare programs. Some also work as special education assistants in local schools.

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