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Brightening Lives

by Karin Weaver
November/December 2009
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/brightening-lives/5019068/

How early childhood educators can bring everyday experiences to children in crisis

It looks like a typical day in any child care center. A group of teachers plans activities for young children, swiftly moving from one activity to another.  The children love playing in the water with bubbles, sponges, and squeeze bottles. The foam shapes are a huge favorite. They prance and dance during music time and love rolling the ball in paint in boxes. 

What makes this situation different is that these teachers are volunteers, and these children are homeless. The setting is the new Bright Space® playroom at the YWCA Homelife Management Center, a homeless program in Wilmington, Delaware. Activities that seem routine and familiar to the teachers are often new to the children. As one teacher remarked, “During water play with bubbles, I was amazed at how excited the children would get and how much fun they were having. Then I realized that these kids don’t have the opportunity to take baths here. They only have access to showers, and there is little time to linger or splash or play. This is an example of something so simple that most other children take for granted.”

Homelessness among children is growing

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