Learning is everywhere. That’s the idea behind United Way’s Born Learning Trail installed in Ross Williams Park, Wednesday. Employees from Natchitoches Regional Medical Center volunteered by giving back to the community during National Hospital Week.
The Born Learning Trail is a series of learning activities that any adult can play with young children. The trail, sponsored by the NRMC Foundation, is designed to help adults interact with children to boost language and literacy development. It also aims to help caregivers understand how to best support early learning in outdoor everyday moments.
“It’s the perfect opportunity for us at the NRMC Foundation to align our mission with UnitedWay,” said Physician and Community Liaison with NRMC Foundation, Sean Baylor.“Natchitoches is a small community and this is yet another outlet for parents to provide educational opportunities as well as health and wellness benefits.”
This is an added effort by United Way of Northwest Louisiana to support early childhood literacy in Natchitoches Parish where research shows, 51 percent of children living in the parish enter kindergarten unprepared. In 2016, the nonprofit introduced their proprietary program Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Enrolled children receive a new age-appropriate book in the mail each month until their fifth birthday. Children in the program have tested 15 percent higher on their kindergarten readiness test than children who aren’t in theprogram.
“United Way fights for education and this is another way for us to unite and address the educational gap we see here in Natchitoches Parish,” said Director of Campaign at UnitedWay NWLA, Serena Gray. “Our hope is that this trail along with Imagination Library will help send more children to kindergarten prepared and ready to learn.”
The Born Learning Trail is the second trail of its kind in North Louisiana and the third in the state.