JANUARY 4, 2012

Parents, grandparents and early childhood educators of infants through 5-year-olds get insights and activities to develop youngsters’ reading skills

PHOENIX – Eight, Arizona PBS is conducting free literacy workshops aimed at stimulating brain and language development in children from birth through age five at eight locations in North Phoenix beginning Tuesday, Jan. 10. Eight’s Educational Outreach department conducts the workshop series funded by Arizona’s First Things First.

Registration is open to the public. The locally-based early literacy workshops take place in schools, churches and community centers. Parents, grandparents and educators may attend only one workshop or the entire series at no charge. The workshops are bi-lingual with both Spanish translation and free childcare available for kids five and under.

This six-workshop literacy series focuses on these topics: changes in a child’s brain, strategies for reading aloud, creating a literacy-rich environment, incorporating poetry and music, making media an educational experience and finding safe, online literacy resources.

The workshops are two hours long, centering first on caregivers and educators. In the last half hour, caregivers work with their children to gain confidence in newly learned skills. Attendees also receive a complete packet of resources, including tip sheets, a children’s book and DVD.

Please find workshop locations and schedules below. Families can register online at asset.asu.edu and click on “North Phoenix Early Literacy Workshops” or by calling 602-496-7004. Space is limited to 25 participants per location:

Beuf Community Center: Tuesdays 6 –8 p.m., Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31 and Feb. 7, 14

Tumbleweed Elementary School: Thursdays 6 –8 p.m., Jan 19, 26 and Feb. 2, 16, 23, 31

Cactus View Elementary School: Thursdays 3:30 – 5:30 p.m., Jan. 24, 31 and Feb. 14, 21, 28 and Mar. 6

Constitution Elementary School: Tuesdays 12:45 – 2:45 p.m., Jan. 31, Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28 and Mar. 6

Madison Heights Elementary School: Tuesdays 6:15-8:15 p.m., Jan. 31, Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28 and Mar. 6

Larkspur Elementary School: Wednesdays 5 – 7 p.m., Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and Mar. 7

St. Jerome Catholic School: Thursdays 3:30 – 5:30 p.m., Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23 and Mar. 1, 8

Deer Valley Community Center: Fridays 9:30-11:30 a.m., Feb. 3, 10, 17, 24 and Mar. 2, 9

Eight, Arizona PBS specializes in the education of children, in-depth news and public affairs, lifelong learning, and the celebration of arts and culture – utilizing the power of non-commercial television, the Internet, educational outreach and community-based initiatives.
The PBS station began broadcasting from the campus of Arizona State University on January 30, 1961. Now more than 80 percent of Arizonans receive the signal through a network of translators, cable and satellite systems. With more than 1 million viewers each week, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. For more information, visit azpbs.org. Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.

First Things First was created in 2006, when Arizona voters – through the Proposition 203 ballot initiative – decided to set aside 80 cents from each pack of cigarettes sold in order to fund the expansion of education and health programs for children 5 years old and younger. Under the terms of the proposition, decisions about how to best use the funds are made on a per-region basis by 31 councils made up of local leaders. The statewide board – which has final approval of the councils’ recommen-dations – is responsible for ensuring that the funds are used on programs proven to work at improving outcomes for children. To learn more, visit azftf.gov.