Creating Cozy Reading Corners for Kids
This blog post was written by Emerging Leaders 365 donor and Committee Member Esha Pendharkar –Technical Program Manager at Oracle
As a volunteer with United Way for the past 6 years, I have always enjoyed working on projects related to early learning and helping children get the resources they need for success. Last month, I had the opportunity to assemble reading corners for kids as part of the ParentChild+ program. I was drawn to this opportunity in particular because I firmly believe that all children should have equal access to education, regardless of their background, race, or socio-economic status.
ParentChild+ is a research-based early childhood and school-readiness program for two- and three-year-olds and their caregivers. The program takes place right in the family’s home and models for parents how to help their children develop essential learning skills before preschool and kindergarten. Families served by ParentChild+ are largely immigrants and/or families of color and face more barriers than others in preparing their children for school because these communities are disproportionally impacted by racism.
The goal of creating these reading corners was to provide families with materials to create a comfortable, dedicated spot in their homes where kids can focus on learning. Each reading corner consisted of a blanket, pillow, and culturally-relevant book. It was awesome to see that the team had curated this list of books to bolster message of racial equity and inclusion in kids early-on! I particularly enjoyed making the blanket for the reading corner. Given my limited crafting skills, I opted for a no-sew blanket making kit from Joann Fabrics. Amongst the busyness of work over the past few weeks, spending the weekend crafting was definitely relaxing! I had my family help out as well and despite some initial disbelief, we learned that it is in fact possible to making a blanket without a sewing machine or needle.