Saturday, September 7, 2013

“Born Learning Trail" Opens

From Middlesex United Way and Comcast
Middlesex United Way and Comcast were joined by local community and school leaders to officially mark the opening of the second “Born Learning Trail” in the City of Middletown at MacDonough Elementary School today. Officials, including Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew, State Senator Paul Doyle, and Dr. Pat Charles, Superintendent of Middletown Public Schools, along with 23 students from MacDonough Elementary school’s B-5 program and Family Resource Center participated in a special ribbon-cutting ceremony and Comcast also presented the children with school supplies.

The trail, the 10th in Middlesex County, was installed by Comcast employees and their family members and friends along with United Way and North End Action Team (NEAT) volunteers, on April 27th during the 12th Comcast Cares Day, the company’s annual day of volunteerism. Comcast employees have now installed six Born Learning Trails in Connecticut during Comcast Cares Day over the past six years, including: Conte West Hills School in New Haven (2008), Burns Elementary School in Hartford (2009), Wilbert Snow Elementary School in Middletown (2010), Foote Memorial Park in Branford & Fulton Park in Waterbury (2012) and MacDonough School in Middletown (2013).

“Our sincere thanks to Comcast and its employees for sponsoring and installing this second Born Learning Trail in Middletown,” said Kevin Wilhelm, Executive Director of Middlesex United Way. “What happens in a child’s critical early years will impact their readiness for school and ultimately their success in life. Born Learning Trails are a valuable early learning tool that will aid in children’s development in addition to being a fun activity for families.” “Comcast deeply believes in powering dreams in the communities we serve, and we are proud to support the City of Middletown through ongoing partnerships with organizations like Middlesex United Way,” said Kristen Roberts, Vice President of Public Relations and Community Investment for Comcast’s Western New England Region, which includes Connecticut. “Our employees had a wonderful time installing this trail during Comcast Cares Day, and after seeing how successful other Born Learning Trails have been, we were proud to continue our support of this initiative and install a second one for the Middletown community.”

 As a part of United Way’s focus on early childhood education and school readiness, the “Born Learning Trail” is a tool that helps parents and caregivers provide opportunities for everyday learning in fun and relaxed environments. A “Born Learning Trail” is a set of fun, physical learning activities that parents or caregivers can play with young children in an outdoor setting, arranged on a walking trail. The trail offers a variety of activities that encourage children to talk, listen, read, think, imagine and create, helping to lay the foundation for developing problem solving, critical thinking, leadership and team building skills.

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