By Debra Sue Lorenzen
A blizzard of literacy activity is starting at St. Nicks Alliance’s afterschool centers. This winter, St. Nicks Alliance is launching a new Literacy Immersion Initiative, as part of St. Nicks’ long-term commitment to support North Brooklyn youth as readers and writers. The Initiative combines theme-based literacy units, arts education, mentorship, family literacy, staff development and the new BK Story Voyager.
Our winter-related theme, which runs in January and February, explores the question:
How do animals adapt to the cold weather?
Elementary students are discovering the answer across 10 afterschool centers operated by St. Nicks Alliance as part of a new literacy unit, “Winter Wildlife”. Owls, bears, penguins, wolves, and sled dogs are a few animals under study. During January and February, the students are reading fiction and non-fiction, writing, creating art, and making projects that reflect their learning.
Did you ever wonder why some birds don’t fly south for the winter? Just ask our students!
As part of “Winter Wildlife”, children at five after school centers are also visited weekly by an environmental scientist as they perform experiments and observe bird behaviors and physical adaptations to the cold.
Also in February, The BK Story Voyager, St. Nick’s new mobile library, will start rolling with visits to select schools in Greenpoint and Williamsburg during afterschool hours. Through its unique interactive design and great programming, the BK Story Voyager aims to excite children about books and the joy of reading. When visiting the bus, children can expect fun hands-on activities from digital games to artmaking, a dynamic collection, opportunities to borrow books, and incentives to keep reading.