Meridian Community College, Early Childhood Academy, The Beep Project, along with Excel by 5, hosted a free training for childcare and early childcare employees at the Tommy E. Dulaney Center, Saturday, July 13.
Guest speaker for the event was Mary Jo Huff, author, storyteller, songwriter, and puppeteer. Huff, who lives in Indiana, came to Meridian specifically to work with these educators. She travels the country as a keynote speaker entertaining children and adults with her humor and love of storytelling. Fifteen contact hours are needed to be employed by Head Start or other daycares in the state. Approximately seventy-five educators attended to hear Huff speak, some as far away as Bay Springs.
The presentation for the day was titled Fostering Communications: Enhancing Early Childhood Communication and Creating A Strong Foundation for Learning & Development. Participants learned the magic that storytelling could bring to the classroom, varieties of stories to use, and went away with materials that can be adapted immediately. The event also included entertaining crafts, such as quick books, story bags, nature journals, patterns, fold-a-puppet, nature props, and peepers.
“These projects support our community with kindergarten readiness tools and ideas that keep children engaged and ready to learn,” said Win Maxey-Shumate, MCC Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator.