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Born Learning Trail
Ignite Leadership Network of Portage County installed a Born Learning Trail at Mead Park in May and June of 2012 as their annual community service project.
What is a Born Learning Trail?
The Born Learning Trail is a set of ten engaging signs to help parents and caregivers create learning opportunities for young children. These trails show parents and caregivers how to turn everyday activities into learning moments.
Each sign displays fun and interactive games promoting physical activity that exercises a child’s mind and body. Each sign has learning activities that parents or caregivers can play with young children at different ages. Each station will have a concrete slab with paintings and activities that pertain to the sign to encourage further educational engagement.
Why is this important?
Kids are learning all the time. The idea behind the trail is to turn those everyday moments into learning experiences. Research has shown that parents who interact regularly with their young children are helping them be better prepared to start school. You can increase a child’s language skills by asking questions, using rhymes and talking about what you are doing, even if it is household tasks like talking about colors when folding laundry.
Our goal is that this project will build awareness around the importance of early childhood education for everyone in our community. Based on information that we know from trails that were built in Wausau and around the country, we feel this project will be successful. This project aligns perfectly with Ignite’s mission to provide philanthropic opportunities to our members that will ensure a vibrant future for Portage County and United Way’s focus on education. There is the potential for more trails like this to be completed in the future all throughout our community.
In October 2011, United Circle of Caring committee recommended and received approval from United Way Board of Directors to fund $5,489 for the completion of the trail. The kit, which includes 10 metal signs, costs $1,500. Ellis Stone and Alchemy Concrete generously helped with design and installation of the trail. We will be seeking in-kind donations for concrete and other project supplies.
May 12 – Poured Concrete
June 9 – Scored patterns, created decorative details and prepared for stain
June 16 – Stained patterns and sealing
June 21-23 – Final clean up, finished grade, landscaping, sod and installed sign posts
June 26– Grand Opening
Ignite Leadership Network of Portage County
A partnership between the Portage County Business Council Foundation and United Way of Portage County.