By Shaunna Cullen
YWCA New Britain's school age program hosted an indoor carnival during spring vacation week for the preschool students.
"This is a wonderful event for our programs. The school age children are very involved in planning, organizing, setting-up and running the event. Seeing the planning of the carnival through from beginning to end also offers the opportunity for the school-age children to work together as a team to achieve a common goal," said Michele Eathorne, Director of Childcare Curriculum and Communication.
Michele goes on to say, "The opportunity for social interaction between the school age children and preschool children is very important. Children form a sense of 'self' and to learn what others expect of them. Primarily, interactions for younger children begin with their families and as they grow older these interactions branch out. Children become more interested in playing and interacting with other children, and continue to learn appropriate social behaviors, such as sharing, cooperating, and respecting property of others. Other positive benefits include improved communication, cognition and motor skills."
This year's carnival featured several fun activities including bowling, face painting, a bean-bag toss, basketball, walking on 'stilts,' hula hooping, and jumping rope. Head Teacher of the before and after school program Anna Polkowski said staff helped the children decide what activities they were going to provide for the preschoolers. Second and third grade students helped set up and run the activities.
"They did an awesome job setting up the games. They set a good example for the preschool kids," said Anna.
Each classroom visited during their regularly scheduled gym time so that everyone got a chance to take a turn at the stations. As a thank you for all their work, preschool will be hosting a pizza party for the school age program.