by Winnie Morgan, Faith Initiative Coordinator, Durham’s Partnership for Children
Faith volunteers are the best! Well, I am biased as the Faith Initiative Coordinator for Early Childhood for Durham’s Partnership for Children. I recently partnered with CONDUIT (Churches of Northern Durham United in inTention), Durham Head Start at Oxford Manor, and parents to have an exciting and engaging story hour in the Head Start classroom. The theme for the day was feast and family, so we began by reading the book “Feast for 10” by Cathryn Falwell.
After reading the book, the children went to three stations to reinforce the story. At one station, volunteers Barbara and Burton enjoyed a real feast with the children, including mini muffins, carrots, apples, oranges and pretzels. Each child got to frost their own cupcake and add sprinkles. Many of the children had never tried pea pods for a snack before and were amazed they liked them! Parents were encouraged to try the easy muffin recipe as a simple and fun way to engage children at home.
Another station focused on exploring with puppets to retell the story or to make up a new story. Volunteer Lee and a parent created a stage for the show with a broom stick between two chairs with a blanket over the handle. Children on each side of the “stage” enjoyed talking back and forth to each other with their handmade puppets – clippings of people from advertisements taped to Popsicle sticks. Parents could see how easy it is to engage young children in storytelling! So simple. So fun.
The last station involved using recycled white placemat paper to draw your family. The children eagerly talked with volunteer Kim and parents about who was in their family as they created their masterpieces to take home.
The story hour ended with children, parents and volunteers listening to the second story, “The Beastly Feast” by Bruce Goldstone. This book was a whimsical rhyming book about what each beast brought to the feast.
The CONDUIT faith volunteers engaged children and parents with INTENTION in activities, and they empowered parents to go home and replicate many of the activities for little or no cost. What a fun and productive day for all!