Born Learning Trail – Grand Opening
There’s an outdoor learning trail many parents and children in town may not know about. It’s located at the far end of the Indian River Recreational Complex off Route 81 and is called the “Born Learning Trail.”
Earlier this month, more than a dozen local parents and children ages two to five attended the Best Beginnings opening of the trail.
Best Beginnings is an early transitions program for local families. Their mission is to provide a strong base for the development of every child, birth through five years old and to improve the readiness of children entering kindergarten. More information about all their programs can be found here.
Coralie Williams, Community Outreach worker for the Best Beginnings Grant, “thinks it’s great to get people down here. It is a really pretty spot that most people in town do not know about.” She loves that it is interactive.
Children need exercise and stimulation, she added.
This trail provides just that. Bright balloons highlight the stations along the trail, including exciting titles such as:
*Look, learn, laugh
*Talk, listen, sing
*See, say, point and read
*Imagine, create, pretend
*Jump, clap, skip, move
*Look, listen, touch, think
The children are encouraged to play and learn both physically and mentally with brightly colored shapes, letters and numbers. They are coached by station placards to conduct various activities, simple and engaging for young children and their caregivers, where for example they learn about the world around them.
Each station also includes a Trail Tip, such as, “Paying attention to children helps them to feel special and secure.” The tips bring the exercise full circle and remind everyone of the basics of successful developmental growth of children.
Heather Moore, mother of Dillon, age five and Brenna, age three says, “I bring my children here all the time. It is such a great area and there is never another soul.” She loves that this will encourage family usage of the area including the playground.
Carrie Albert, mother of two boys has participated in Best Beginnings programs since its inception over five years ago. To her, “this is just another extension of Best Beginning’s commitment to the community and the learning needs of our children. It incorporates fun and experience – the best way kids learn.”
This engaging educational trail was made possible through a grant provided by Middlesex United Way. The installation was completed in late September and was a joint effort between Comcast and Best Beginnings volunteers. Clinton Youth and Family Service Bureau, Clinton Park and Recreation, Clinton Public Works and the Clinton Public Schools supported the effort.
Linda Stuhlman, grant consultant and project manager of Best Beginnings and early education counsel to the Clinton Board of Education, was thrilled with the turnout. The enthusiasm of local families was heartwarming, she said.
The best part about Best Beginnings is “that every year it evolves,” shares Stuhlman. She is also very excited about another new program in the works called Community Conversation a program funded by the Graustein Foundation.