By Erin Murphy/ECHO ECHO's Early Education program has been a strong focal point since the organization's beginnings. Scien...

Early Learning at ECHO

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By Erin Murphy/ECHO

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ECHO's Early Education program has been a strong focal point since the organization's beginnings. Science and Stories, a well-loved weekly event for ages 0-5, began in 2003 and has been going strong over the years.


Elizabeth Nuckols, early education coordinator and youth program manager, explained that while Science and Stories offers a fun morning out for area children, its visitors also gain some seriously important educational skills.




“All the skills they’re learning are kindergarten readiness skills,” Nuckols said, “learning how to sit with a group in a circle, learning other social emotional skills as well as cognitive and physical skills.”


Science and Stories covers a wide variety of topics and a lot of thought goes into picking fun, seasonally appropriate themes that are still science-based. For example, this fall Science and Stories covered bats, pumpkins, skeletons, and (as you’ll see in the video below) bird migration.

While on the surface Science and Stories looks like a great time (and it is!), upon closer inspection you can see where kids are picking up skills. During the weekly story time they learn how to pay attention and make connections, playing in the water table teaches logical thinking skills like cause and effect correlation, and doing crafts works on fine motor skills like coloring and gluing.


While Science and Stories has been doing well in its home in the community room, and other learn through play activities have been taking place in ECHO’s Discovery Place, it’s been decided that Early Education is due for an upgrade.


Right now, a new preschool exhibit is under construction at ECHO, and it’s taking playing to learn to a whole new level: in fact, it’s going to be a toddler’s dream town. the yet-to-be-named exhibit will feature a farmer’s market, a fishing boat, and a magical bridge, and more.

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With a little imagination and these illustrations, you can start to see the space coming to life.


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While Early Education spaces may be getting a face lift, the heart of the program is remaining the same as it has since 2003: to connect kids to Lake Champlain in a way that’s fun, scientific, and memorable.



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