Westchester County's first Born Learning Trail, developed by the United way of Westchester and Putnam, has opened at the Kensico Dam, offering families a new educational outdoor activity in Tarrytown, New York.
Volunteers from Tarrytown's Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics work to install Westchester County's first United Way Born Learning Trail at the Kensico Dam August 22, 2011. Located near the playground, the Born Learning Trail features interactive games that help adults and children explore and learn together.
Westchester County's first Born Learning Trail is ready for children and parents to explore at the Kensico Dam in Tarrytown.
Developed by the United Way of Westchester and Putnam and installed at the end of August by a dozen Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics employees, the Born Learning Trail offers an interactive series of outdoor games that helps adults and young children explore and learn together. The trail is comprised of 10 colorful signs mounted on posts along the walkway around the park's playground area. While walking the trail, parents and children take turns asking questions, making observations, listening, singing silly songs, telling stories, and playing other learning games to ignite their imaginations. Each activity helps to develop language and critical thinking skills that are fundamental to a child's success in school. By paying attention to their children, parents are also helping to build confidence.
A dozen top executives from Tarrytown's Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics volunteered to install Westchester County's first United Way Born Learning Trail. Top to bottom, left to right: Bill Woods; Shannon Cobb, vice president of United Way of Westchester and Putnam; Chase Dearborn; Anne Cooney; Michael Reitermann, CEO of Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics; Lauran Hoders; Hanjoon Ryu; Dave Hickey; David Stein; Stefan Wolf; Kathy O'Connor, commissioner of Westchester Parks; Kevin Plunkett, Westchester deputy county executive; Anthonie Goudemond; Rui Brandao; and Wolfgang Wrumnig.
The United Way of Westchester and Putnam developed the Born Learning campaign to help turn everyday moments into fun learning experiences for children, parents, grandparents, caregivers, and communities. The campaign provides simple daily action steps that support early learning and ensure school readiness. United Ways across the country are now installing permanent Born Learning Trails in parks and nature centers as a way to engage volunteers and create new learning opportunities for young children.
Born Learning educational materials are available at various daycare centers, libraries, nonprofit organizations and companies. The United Way also offers materials directly to families through community events and programs. For more information on the campaign or to download the Born Learning toolkit online, visit www.uwwp.org/bornlearning.