A nine-month long
community project and free Internet resource for early learning.
project conducted in the community of Mercer Island, Washington.
The website went
online September 1, 2012. Community project will run from
September 2012 until the end of summer 2014. Content will be
Island residents and community members who interact with children
birth to five.
To educate all community members who
interact with children from birth to five about the benefits of
singing in all areas of early learning, with an emphasis on
language development and early literacy.
To make singing together a daily habit of
adults who interact with young children
by providing songs and community-wide opportunities for singing
To create a community model that can
To promote free website and its use
nationally and internationally
To educate parents about using technology
to enhance and not impede early learning
Families will be invited to meet at each of our 3
community supermarkets and hold hands to form a snake that
will go through every isle while singing a marketing song!
We'll stop along the way to identify letters (supermarkets
are a great place for letter hunts!).
Book Store Boogie-
Similar to market, but of course, we'll be making our way
through the book store- also a great place for letter
All-Island Ring Around the Rosy
Once a month a meeting place and time will be announced, and
we'll form a circle and sing. The group will increase in
size every month, and by the end of the project in May, we
can try for the Guinness Book of World Records (currently
around 900)! These will be done in highly visible public
These will be coordinated to happen at the same time all
over the community. Sing along-lyric sheets with guitar
chords for traditional songs will be available to print out
from the website. We'll select 10 "endangered" folk songs
and sing to revive them!
During each of the Tweet Events, we'll have parents pull out
their phones, take a picture, and tweet it out the the
world! The goal will be to increase awareness of early
learning through community singing by holding these unique
events. Sounds like a lot of wild and crazy fun, doesn't it?
Of course, let me know if you have any ideas!
Here is a link to a pdf list of
favorite picture books based on songs, with a strong rhythm,
or with a song as part of the story.
All titles have at least 6 available copies in the
King County Library System, so if there isn't a copy at Mercer
Island, you can place a hold on it on the computer. Big thanks
to our wonderful children's librarian, Margaret Martin for
compiling the list, and writing the introduction. These are
all favorites and great ways to build early literacy! You'll
find even more titles with my recommendations and notes about
availability on the bookshelf page of the website soon!
BOOKS THAT SING
I have lots of
events scheduled now, so be sure to click on the
Live Calendar to see them all
and get details on the time and place. This month I'll be
doing several "Sing Into Reading" events at the Mercer Island
Presbyterian Church for parents, grandparents, and caregivers
of children birth to five. Refreshments included!
Weekly Story times at
Mercer Island Library
Monthly Grandparents Gatherings
Monthly appearances at
When we have the
monthly "Sing With Our Grandkids" meeting I will bring
my I-pad. Grandparents can quickly record a short song and
personal message for their grandchildren, and I can e-mail it
off to the parents- wherever they are! If they want to read a
short book, then buy it and send it along to go with the song,
they can do that too! And the beauty of this is that will cost
nothing and will require no technology know-how (not that
grandparents don't know technology, because more and more they
absolutely do). But if they don't have access to the
technology of recording, etc, I can do it for them right there
on the spot! How cool is that?
It's all about connections! And
for grandparents who can't attend the gatherings, there will
be an instructional video on this website showing them how to
do this themselves. In fact, every live part of the project
will have corresponding information on the website so you can
take advantage of all the same materials.
Our first Community Ring Around the
Rosy Event on Saturday September 29 was a huge success! Wonderful
families including grandparents and even a BIG dog. Scarves, and
parachute, and instruments and SINGING! It was everything I've
been envisioning for the project. Early learning through community
singing! It was great- thank you families!!