Day-care providers get training to teach their charges

April 02, 1993|By Monica Norton | Monica Norton,Staff Writer

It may appear a bit odd at first, a room full of adults playing with puppets and talking in voices reminiscent of Romper Room days, or singing a rousing chorus of "The Itsy, Bitsy Spider."

But these adults aren't just playing. They're learning to play in order to teach.

About 50 day-care providers met at the Severna Park library earlier this week for the second of five "Read To Me" training programs sponsored by the Anne Arundel County Public Library.

During the two-hour session, library staff members showed the day care providers how to use books, cassettes, puppets and activities provided in the "Read To Me" kits to entertain youngsters, and teach them something as well.

The kits in mesh blue bags have themes like birthdays, back yard adventures, and dealing with fear. Day care providers may borrow one of the 15 kits for three weeks at a time.

The session was worth two hours of training credit from the state Child Care Administration for the day care providers, and gave them inspiration, many said.

"I came not only for my day care, but for my own kids, as well," said Karen Voelker, who runs a day care from her house in Pasadena. "I believe reading in the home is very important. I've always read to my own kids, and I can really see the effect it's had on my five-year-old. I'm looking for more creative ideas."

Beth Stepp, of Glen Burnie, said the seminar helped her learn what types of books to select for the children in her day care.

"There are so many books to choose from," Mrs. Stepp said. "I didn't really realize what materials were available, like this "Happy Birthday" kit. I think a little bit of extra attention on a child's birthday is great."

All of the kits lean heavily on the use of visual aides, such as puppets or bright flannel boards on which to tack letters or animals, and on the songs to get children involved.

For example, while the providers sang "B, I, N-G-O, B, I, N-G-O," an instructor placed a cut-out of a dog on a flannel board with letters that spelled Bingo. A day-care provider could use the pieces to work on colors, shapes or spelling, all the while entertaining their children.

This is the first year the libraries have sponsored such training programs. The first seminar was held at the North County branch Glen Burnie on March 10. Two more are scheduled April 17 at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Child Care Administration Office in Crownsville.

A fifth date, May 19 at the Edgewater branch, 7 p.m., has been added because of the overwhelming interest in the seminar. Each seminar has averaged about 40 to 50 people.

The project is funded through a $20,000 Library Services and Construction Act grant from the state's Department of Education division of Library Development and Services.

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