There's no doubt about it, local educators have done their darndest to keep students on track during this wacky, pandemic year, but despite their best efforts, most kids' are still a little behind on their education.

As parents of a soon-to-be 2nd grader and kindergartener, my husband and I have tried to increase our efforts to do more reading and learning activities at home, but we need help. We are not teachers, and at times we struggle getting our girls to do anything "educational". We have since learned the key to getting them to do it is disguising it as fun, and I think I just found the perfect way to do it,  especially for our youngest daughter about to enter kindergarten.

The Discovery Center Museum just issued a press release that says;

Data from the State of Illinois' Kindergarten Individual Development Survey shows that in the Rockford Public School District, only 25% of incoming kindergartners demonstrated readiness in math, reading, and social-emotional development. With the over 50% decrease in children enrolled in early learning programs in RPS #205 this past year, Discovery Center wanted to find ways to reach those families, and empower parents to become their child’s first teacher and better understand the importance of brain development for their young child.

So what's the Discovery Center's solution? Handing out free "Discovery At Home Activity Kits" to kids ages 3 to 5 years old to help get them ready for school!

These "Discovery At Home Activity Kits" were made possible by support from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, and contain links to virtual story times as well as "all needed materials to participate in 15 play-centered learning activities such as creating an shape finding and sorting, counting hopscotch, flashlight alphabet hunt, letter search, play dough writing, and more".

One thousand activity kits are available, and the Rock River Valley Food Pantry, Boys & Girls Club of Rockford, Easter Seals, Family Peace Center, and Strong Neighborhood Houses will be helping the Discovery Center distribute them.

For more information on how to get one, contact the Discovery Center Museum at 815-963-6769 or online at
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