Children at Waukegan Public Library are set for an out-of-this-world experience on Sunday, August 28, when the award-winning Early Learning Center reopens with a brand-new exhibit! The Early Learning Center, generously sponsored by North Shore Gas, is an innovative space within the Library’s Children’s Department that teaches children essential preschool concepts – like literacy and numeracy skills, shape and color recognition, and sequencing and sorting – through a fun theme. This year’s Blast Off! theme will take children on an exciting imaginative adventure as they board a rocketship, land on the moon, explore a space capsule and more! Children will develop their digital skills with two iPad Pros, play with manipulatives on our new light table, and glow with excitement as they look for constellations under a black light.
“North Shore Gas’s longstanding sponsorship of the Early Learning Center is not only testament to its commitment to corporate generosity, but to the communities it serves,” said Waukegan Public Library Executive Director Richard Lee. “Their support has made it possible for us to offer Waukegan’s children a fun, educational place to learn and discover.”
On Sunday, patrons will be able to visit the new exhibit for the first time, and, among other fun surprises, there will be a number of hands-on enrichment activities for children, thanks to Rockford’s Discovery Center Museum. Children who complete all stations can enter to win space prizes! Refreshments will be provided. While the Library is open from 1:00 – 5:00pm on Sunday, the party will be held from 1:00 – 3:00pm.
Patrons are also invited to explore an exhibit of real artifacts from NASA’s Lower Earth Orbit shuttle program, a complementary exhibit on our main floor. The exhibit features a thirteen-foot replica space shuttle, a seat from the shuttle Endeavour, and a tire from the shuttle Columbia, which actually flew in space!
Programming for the Early Learning Center includes the award-winning Bus to Us program, which brings Waukegan Public Schools children in grades 1 – 3 to the Library for a field trip to the Early Learning Center. Students engage in a variety of activities and lessons brought to life by the exhibit. Programming for the Early Learning Center is made possible by the Harold M. and Adeline S. Morrison Family Foundation. A grant from Walmart supports the purchasing of supplies, and the new iPad Pros were gifted by the Friends of the Waukegan Public Library.