The Pueblo West View

Lunch series aims at child caregivers

Put your lunch hour to good use during a series of presentations by EPIC Pueblo (Executives Partnering to Invest in Children) about the importance of early childhood learning.

EPIC Pueblo will host three presentations in their Brown Bag Lunch series at the Pueblo West Library, beginning Aug. 27, aimed at parents, grandparents and other caregivers with young children.

“We research resources in the community and we try to share that with the community for early childhood development,” explained Paula Dunn, an EPIC board member.

“We’re trying to reach out in many ways to parents, grandparents, caregivers who are attending to kids.”

EPIC Pueblo has identified school readiness as the most important early childhood issue facing Pueblo County.

The organization’s goal is to send every child to kindergarten healthy and ready to learn with more than 3,000 words in his or her vocabulary.

“If we wait until a child starts preschool to address social and learning issues, we have waited three years too long,” said Renie Tagliatela, the presenter for the Brown Bag Lunch series. She has a Master’s Degree in social work and was a licensed social worker who retired early last year.

“I hope people take away from this series is that the foundation for all later learning happens in the first three years of life, and that we all must do our part to give every child the best opportunity to meet their full potential.”

The Aug. 27 program will be Pueblo Reads: The Importance of Early Literacy, Birth to Three Years. It promotes the importance of childhood reading in a family setting.

The second program will be on Sept. 24 and is titled Parents: A Child’s First and Most Important Teacher. This workshop teaches promotion of the use of language in a healthy learning environment, beginning at home.

The third program will be held Oct. 22 and is Bright from the Start: Kindergarten Readiness. This equips parents and other caregivers with the knowledge to find the best childcare and the benefits of preschool.

The Brown Bag Lunches are informational sessions during a typical lunch break, that run approximately 45 minutes.

The goal of EPIC in providing these programs is to give crucial information in a voluntary and informal session.

The series was started to be presented in workplaces so that employees could choose to attend on their lunch break. In an effort to reach a wider group, Dunn said

EPIC decided to roll out the idea at libraries and hopefully the YMCA during the next several months.

Each program begins at noon, and all who are interested are welcome to attend. Call Dunn at 561-6142 with questions.

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