May 25, 2017
Let's Grow Kids
Burlington, Vermont—Let’s Grow Kids is joining ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain to co-host a day of science play and discovery for young children on Saturday, June 3 from 10 AM to 3 PM at ECHO. 
 
The day will include hands-on experiences for exploration with a science workshop, games, bubble play, movement activities, a crafting station and more. The event is free with admission or ECHO membership.
 
Family Science Play Day is part of a project, called the Early Learning Science Initiative, that connects young children and preschool educators to high-quality, STEM curricula, materials and training. Let’s Grow Kids and our sister initiative, Vermont Birth to Five, have been collaborating with ECHO on the project, which is funded by an Institute of Museums and Library Sciences grant. 
 
Let’s Grow Kids is also a sponsor of Champ Lane, an ECHO exhibit specially created for young children ages 0-6, that provides caregivers and kids with fun opportunities to play and learn together. 
 
“Science tells us that the first five years, when the brain is developing most rapidly, provide the best opportunity to help children build a strong foundation for all future learning and development. Let’s Grow Kids is thrilled to partner with ECHO to give Vermont’s youngest children opportunities for play-based learning and hands-on activities that we know are so important to giving our kids a strong start,” said Let’s Grow Kids Campaign Director Robyn Freedner-Maguire. 
 
There will also be an art installation on display during Family Science Play Day featuring Lake Champlain-inspired artwork created by local preschoolers. An ECHO educator visited 20 classrooms at partner preschools and built floor models of Lake Champlain with the children. The children were then given the opportunity to create an original art piece based on the experience.
“The Early Science Learning grant project and our collaboration with Let's Grow Kids and Vermont Birth to Five allow us to strengthen our expertise and expand the reach of our programming. This school year over 200 area preschoolers grew into young lake stewards through their involvement in the project. Next year we plan to triple that number,” said Elizabeth Nuckols,  Youth Programs Manager at ECHO.
 
For more information about Family Science Play Day, visit www.echovt.org.  
 
About Let’s Grow Kids
Let’s Grow Kids is a public awareness and engagement campaign about the important role that high-quality, affordable child care can play in supporting the healthy development of Vermont’s children during their first five years—the most important years for laying a foundation for success in relationships, in school and in life. Because Vermont’s shortage of high-quality, affordable child care is a serious challenge for our communities and our economy, our goal is to gain public support leading to increased, sustainable investment that gives all children the chance to reach their full potential. Let’s Grow Kids is an initiative of the Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children with support from the A.D. Henderson Foundation and the Turrell Fund.
 
About ECHO
ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, is a freshwater lake aquarium and science center dedicated to promoting science education through engaging exhibits and programs. We serve over 150,000 day guests and 23,000 through a community access discount admission program annually. Celebrating 15 years next May, ECHO is a leader in high-quality learning resources to strengthen families by providing training around the impact of early experiences on child development.  As part of our larger “Science Play” early learning initiative, ECHO hosts a dedicated 2,500 sq ft. early learning space, educator training, and a weekly, two-hour caregiver-child skill building program in partnership with the Greater Burlington YMCA for low-resourced families. In developing and delivering these programs, ECHO has partnered with over 30 social-service agencies, preschools, and early childhood experts, including Let's Grow Kids, YMCA, Burlington Children's Space, King Street Youth Center, and preschool education leaders at UVM and Champlain College and has been informed by the Vermont Early Learning Standards.
 
 

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