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Library Special Events

From the desk of CEO Charles B. Tisdale: “The Library Special Events Program has become one of the most popular, and as a result, one of the most valuable educational offerings for the children an families of ABCD, Inc. Provided at each of ABCD’s 13 sites, the program consists of a diverse array of live presentations in the arts, sciences, music, literacy and dance. The children are thereby given an early opportunity to view and participate in these cultural pursuits and in a manner which they thoroughly enjoy. This exposure allows them to develop their artistic tastes which they carry forward as they grow into adulthood and social refinement. We are extremely proud of this program and strongly support its continuation”.

The Library Special Events Program is now in its 9th year. It is under the Early Learning Department and serves over 1,200 - 3, 4, & 5 year old Pre-K children from Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Trumbull & Monroe. This program is not income producing and depends largely on grants, gifts and donations from the ELD’s Federal funds, grant rewards as written by the Programs’ Director and in-kind donations. All of the programs are free to the children. Diane Wyckoff serves as the children’s Librarian, the grants writer, and coordinates all of the LSEP’s.

The Children’s Library was made possible by a grant from Starbuck’s Coffee Company. This wonderful ‘kid-friendly’ room received another gracious donation from Books for Kids Foundation in NYC of hard cover, age and topic appropriate books. Other donors over the years include: Target Corp., Pitney Bowes, General Electric, the Long Foundation, Fairfield County Communication Foundation, Connecticut Commission on the Arts and Bridgeport Area Foundation.

Brief histories of the Library Special Events Programs follow:

2006 -                  5 presentations were performed.

2007 -                  2008: 26 presentations were presented only at ABCD/ICCC.

2008 - 2009         76 presentations.

2009 - 2010         76 presentations were presented.

2010 - 2011         only 47 programs were presented because of the government downturn.

2011 - 2012         168 programs were presented.

2012 - 2013         145 programs presented.

2013 - 2014         106 programs were presented.

2014 - 2015          Projecting  160 programs for all sites.

Presenters for 2014 – 2015 include:

LES JULIAN:

Himself a Grammy award winner in 2011 for his excellent original recording of “Donkey in a Ditch” and “All about Bullies – Big and Small” has won him many more accolades since the Grammies. He is a songwriter, story teller, educator, entertainer, musician and ‘imaginationist’ ! Les brings his guitar, a rain machine, hand held dingers and bells for the children and literally romps, dances and sings his way tight into everyone’s’ heart. Bi-lingual as he is, we will all sing in Swahili, Spanish and French. We will march, be elephants and sing lullabys and leave exhilarated by Les and his wonderful gifts.

LENKA PICHLIKOVA:

Lenka comes from Russia  and among her many credits she was a student of the great pantomimist, Marcel Marceau. Lenka brings delightful interactive reading programs as “Mother Goose” and as a fictitious teacher in a program about Good Manners and Bullying. She also portrays Mrs. Santa Claus for our large Christmas assembly, wherein she acts through and educates the children about Christmas all over the world.

MAD SCIENCE:

The “scientist- teachers” bring wonderful interactive, hands-on, absolutely safe for little ones science experiments and always send the children home with a hand held gift to keep. Their workshops are activities that instill a clearer understanding of their world. Their team of white-coated scientists has never disappointed our students and has always left them with a feeling of awe in that the teaching had a touch of magic and surprise in their presentations.

BEARDSLEY PARK “ZOO-MOBILE”:

There are a plethora of big red posters on the Library walls which house  pictures of all of the Presenters in action, and some of the dearest photos are of the little children tenuously, with only 2 gentle fingers, patting a bunny with such wonderment and absolute focus on the child’s face which is a remarkable learning experience. These workshops provide familiarization to the “real thing”; not pictures from a book or a television show, but up front, in person little animals and little children looking at and getting to know each other.

NEW ENGLAND BALLET COMPANY PROGRAMS:

There are 4 New England Ballet Company programs offered to the children of ABCD.

This program has been instructed by Karen Goodman, Co-Artistic Director of the Ballet Company, and teacher for the school of ballet along with Ms. Sandy Beach her assistant teacher for 6 years  at ABCD and other sites.

“THE CAROUSEL” dance program is so named because it goes around to other sites as well as ABCD/ICCC, and they are: Holy Name of Jesus, George Pipkin and Trumbull/Monroe and instructs in these sites because they have space adequate for dance. The “Carousel” runs for 8 consecutive weeks in each site as an Artist in Residency program and culminates in a student invitational to parents and ABCD administration for a final showcase of the dance education received by the children.

The 2nd program is called, “DANCE DEMOS” and goes to the remaining sites which did not house “The Carousel” program, thereby acquainting all of our students with the art of dance.

The 3rd program is the annual production of “The Nutcracker Suite”. Excerpted parts of the ballet are performed for the students with question and answer sessions.

The 4th ballet offering is another dance production and can be either “Peter and the Wolf” or “The Adventures of Little Red Riding Hood” also with question and answer sessions.

Because Ms. Goodman is such a dynamic teacher, and the Ballet Company dancers as well, these programs are always very special with glittering costumes, pointe shoes;  introduction not only to the dance but also to the music of classical composers such as Piotr Tchaikovsky. New Language is introduced through the use of French terminology, and the physical instruction of ballet introduced through Ms. Goodman’s excellent grasp of cognitive or ‘visualization’ technique is a true success for the children’s learning because she makes the difficult – fun and imaginative. Also added to this new curriculum is the introduction of using the Smart Board with films of ballets danced by professional dancers so that the children can absorb this component of learning and be seeing know how they are supposed to look.

The Social-Emotional component enters into the instruction and performance strata’s as the children learn to listen, take turns, become comfortable performing before small audiences and applauding their peers as they accomplish learning and performing.

WEST AFRICAN DANCE PROGRAM:

Instructor: Ms. Meaghan Daly

Musician, (Drums): Tenisi Davis

After a 2-year partnership with the Alvin Ailey Dance Kids program from New York employing their teachers at ABCD, we were thrilled to adapt a second Artist in Residency program of West African dance for our children at ABCD. However, the geographic distance and probably a lack of funding ended this affiliation at the start of its 3rd year at ABCD and sadly we had to close that program. We were fortunate enough to keep one of the instructors and the drummer and continue this program.

Ms. Meaghan Daly proved to not only be an excellent teacher for the children but a tremendously talented choreographer. With the drum accompaniment from Mr. Tenisi Davis the class popularity soared and the children as well as our teachers loved the program.

Meghan used verbal storytelling; added the audio-visual reinforcements, coupling what the children saw and could reproduce themselves, and with practice, brought these 2, 5-week Artist in Residency programs to an amazing performance climax. We were delighted with what Meghan brought out of the children and how they comprehended the work and joy in front of them. Therefore, through these generational stories portrayed by and with the West African impetus, and using our cognitive, language and physical skills, employing the obviated social skills; this program was a 100% success and the good news is that Meghan is coming back to do some more of her ‘magic for the 2014-15 season!

“READING ROCKS!”

This program is an outgrowth of the old Target Corp. store volunteer readers program wherein store employees traded their store working hours to come to ABCD, to the Children’s Library and read to the children by classroom. However, when their coordinating officer left to tend to another store facility, the program took a downturn and failed.

Resurrected the next year, the “Reading Rocks!” Literacy program became an internal ABCD function and each classroom was given one date a month to come to the Library to have stories read to them; divide into smaller groups and have the teachers and Aides read to them. Following this the children were welcome to go to the book shelves and pick a book that they would like to “read” to themselves. Time permitting, the Librarian would conduct small groups to perform in the puppet theatre, donated by Starbucks, and put on their own shows and not only was that therapeutic for the children but an awful lot of fun!

 

ABCD Early Learning Division Events October 2014

Come to your 1st Parent Meeting this month! Learn how your voice and your input can help shape the program. We will elect officers for each site and parent representatives for the Policy Council. This is YOUR meeting. Come and be heard!

TOPICS DATE TIME PLACE
CT Food Bank Mobile Truck
(Nutrition education & Financial Literacy workshops)
Oct. 1st, 14th & 15th
Oct. 28th & 29th
Oct. 2nd, 16th & 30th
Oct. 7th & 21st
Oct. 8th & 22nd
Oct. 9th & 24th
9:30 am
9:30 am
4:30 pm
4:30 pm   
9:30 am
4:30 pm      
George Pipkin
George Pipkin
George Pipkin
Lucille Johnson
Cesar Batalla 
Holy Name (includes Ella Jackson)
Policy Council Executive Committee Mon. Oct. 6th 3:30 pm ABCD Conference Room               
Conscious Discipline Thurs. Oct. 9th 9:00 am Holy Name of Jesus
Newsletter Committee Fri. Oct. 10th   9:30 am  ABCD Parent Room
Volunteer Workshop Training Tues. Oct. 14th     9:30 am  ABCD Parent Room
Nurturing Heart Workshop Thurs. Oct. 16th   9:00 am George Pipkin
Enrollment/Recruitment/Selection Thurs. Oct. 16th 2:00 pm ABCD Conference Room
Parents as Partners Tues. Oct. 21st
Tues. Oct. 21st
2:15 pm
2:15 pm

Bullard Havens
Bullard Havens

Meet the Author Activity Wed. Oct. 22nd      Bulls Head Hollow
The CIRCUS comes to Early Learning Thurs. Oct. 23rd 10:30 am George Pipkin
Policy Council  Thurs. Oct. 23rd 5:00 pm ABCD Conference Room

Child Development Advisory Leadership Team

Wed. Oct. 29th noon ABCD Conference Room