The National Children’s Center’s Early Learning Center recently launched a family literacy initiative known as “Brunch Bunch.” This quarterly program is aimed at providing parents with all the tools they need to commit to doing a nightly story time with their children. At each Brunch Bunch event, parents learn specific strategies that they can use to help prepare their children to read when they enter school. We hope to see the impact that NCC’s parents can make by reading to their children nightly!
The Brunch Bunch pilot program in September was made possible by a grant from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). At the first Brunch Bunch event, a reading specialist spoke about the importance of reading to young children daily, beginning as early as possible. She provided specific ideas for parents including taking a picture walk, the importance of rhyming, and the value of repetition for learning.
On February 10th, NCC held the second Brunch Bunch event. We shared information regarding the “30 million word gap” and discussed the importance of reading, talking, and singing to children long before they can speak. Two of NCC’s speech language pathologists spoke about specific strategies for increasing children’s vocabulary.
Parents were asked to share their experiences since the first Brunch Bunch event. Most reported reading with their children more frequently and for longer durations. One described sending her child to his room for a time-out. When he was remarkably quiet she went to check on him and found him curled up in his bed reading one of the books he received from Brunch Bunch! Another mother reported that she had read one of the Brunch Bunch books twice in a row with her son. He asked to read it a third time, but she said, “No” because it was bedtime. She tucked him into bed and later found him asleep with the book on his face. He had fallen asleep looking at it on his own!
Thanks to several very generous organizations and companies, the second Brunch Bunch was a huge success! Since NCC is still applying for additional funding for Brunch Bunch, we reached out to the community to enable us to hold the second event last month. NCC wishes to thank First Book for donating the wonderful books that we distributed. Thanks to First Book each family received 7 new books! Chick-fil-A and Dunkin’ Donuts in Seven Corners (Falls Church, Virginia) were both extremely generous in donating breakfast items for the event. The Junior League of Washington D.C. sent a volunteer to assist with logistics such as checking-in parents upon arrival. Please join us in thanking First Book, Chick-fil-A of Seven Corners, Dunkin’ Donuts of Seven Corners, and the Junior League of Washington! Without their support the second Brunch Bunch event would not have been possible!