News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

October 11, 2012

Born Learning Trail officially opens at Collett Park

TERRE HAUTE — Fun ways to learn are now just a hop, skip and jump away for kids visiting Collett Park.

Organizers joined more than a dozen children to cut the ceremonial ribbon for the Success By 6 Born Learning Trail on Wednesday afternoon. Sponsored by the United Way of the Wabash Valley and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the trail inside Collett Park features learning games to be played with parents and grandparents.

Mayor Duke Bennett said this is a great way to help children become productive citizens as they grow older.

“This is another opportunity to do something positive for the kids in our community,” he said.

Located to the west of the Collett Park main building, the Born Learning Trail was developed based on research on early childhood development. The trail features nine spots with activities such as “Watch! Stop! Learn! Play!,” “Talk! Listen! Sing!,” hopscotch, and more.

United Way of the Wabash Valley executive director Troy Fears said Anthem’s $2,000 gift was instrumental in completing the project.

“The trail wouldn’t be here unless it was for Anthem,” he said.

Tony Felts, Anthem public relations, said the trail’s benefits will pay dividends  as residents enjoy the outdoors, exercising and learning simultaneously.

“This trail is something we can do now for our kids,” he said.

Fears said similar trails exist in Brazil’s Forest Park, the Sullivan City Park and Fowler Park

According to information provided by the United Way of the Wabash Valley, research indicates that children are “born learning,” which means five years of education takes place before kindergarten. Both fine and gross motor skills are important aspects of their development, in addition to the pre-literacy skills involved in singing.

Nationally, the United Way reports research showing that many parents undervalue their role in preparing young children for school, that parents and caregivers don’t know how to prepare young children for school, and that parents and caregivers feel like they don’t have time to do what’s needed.

Individuals needing information or resources on the topic can contact the United Way of the Wabash Valley at 812-235-6287.

Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or brian.boyce@tribstar.com.

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