A Time for Rhymes
‘A Time for Rhymes: Oral Language Play and Early Literacy’ was a one and one-half day workshop developed by Literacy NL to meet an identified need for professional development in the early learning field. The goals of this workshop included:
- educate practitioners in ways to strengthen oral language skills
- provide research information on the connection to early brain development in children
- foster parent-child attachment through the use of rhymes, songs, and storytelling
- provide a networking opportunity for Family Resource Center practitioners and early learning practitioners
During the workshop, participants were given information regarding the importance of the parent/child bond and the development of language. A number of sample materials were available for viewing. Facilitators provided individuals with an overview of rhymes and songs along with suggested techniques for remembering them. These rhymes and songs were then repeated throughout the event to enhance learning. Storytelling was another component of the workshop and participants were given techniques for mapping a story using the ‘bare bones’. They then had the opportunity to use the techniques learned to practice oral storytelling ‘without the book’. A participant of the program expressed that these methods provided her “with some valuable tools and connections with others who are motivated and passionate about storytelling”.
It was clearly evident that all participants enjoyed the program as they explored techniques for sharing new songs, games, stories and rhymes. Individuals left the program with confidence in their ability to pass on what had been learned to other parents and co-workers, and the intention to incorporate these new ideas into their current community programming. Participants voiced that the program met and exceeded their expectations. Comments included: “the sessions were fun and informative”, “it met all my expectations and more”, “I enjoyed it very much”, and “Set up was great, very relaxing and no pressure”. One member of the group stated: “I thoroughly enjoyed th[e] workshop. It was fun [and] a great networking opportunity. [The instructors] have a wealth of information to share. Th[e] workshop would benefit anyone working with parents and/or children. I would recommend it to others to attend a similar event in the future.”