Gwinnett launches early learning and literacy program

Story Link : https://www.gwinnettcounty.com/web/gwinnett/home/stories/viewstory/-/story/CommunityServicesLiteracyProgram_031121

Gwinnett County has partnered with Gwinnett County Public Schools and the Building Babies’ Brains initiative to launch an early learning and literacy program called Building Brains (B2) Anywhere: A Shirley Carver Miller Learning Initiative.

“About 52 percent of Gwinnett students are not ready for kindergarten,” said Tina Fleming, Community Services director. “We are thrilled to initiate a community-based early learning strategy that provides enrichment both inside and outside the classroom.”

The initiative is named in honor of former Georgia First Lady Shirley Carver Miller. “Ms. Miller has long been a community-based early learning advocate. B2 Anywhere exemplifies her belief in taking learning to children through mobile programming to improve school readiness,” said Fleming. 

B2 Anywhere provides mobile early learning programs at sites across Gwinnett, including parks, childcare facilities, community centers, apartment complexes, places of worship and more. Programs include a focus on literacy, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) and nature play. They also provide helpful suggestions for caregivers to prepare children to thrive in kindergarten. The first B2 Anywhere program took place recently at the Shorty Howell Park Activity Building in Duluth. Toddlers and caregivers experienced hands-on activity stations highlighting science exploration, simple math, and interactive stories.

Gwinnett’s Out-of-School Time Coordinator Tania Ballou said that during the first session, children used a magnifying lens to investigate big and small items, practiced new words and phrases with an interactive story folder and used modeling clay to make shapes and numbers. “It’s been a joy to see children get excited to participate in the hands-on activities we provide during each session,” said Ballou. “The activities we choose are fun, interactive, and educational.”

“Our team is excited about this program and ready to unleash knowledge in Gwinnett,” said Jason West, deputy division director. “Getting a successful start in school puts a child on a path to greater academic and economic success.”

B2 Anywhere events are free to attend, but pre-registration is required. COVID-19 protocols are in place to protect participants and staff, including social distancing, enhanced cleaning, and mask wearing. Multiple opportunities exist for caregivers and children to participate in similar programming at sites across Gwinnett. For more information about Building Brains Anywhere and its programs, activities or services, visit B2Anywhere.com.