Friday, November 8, 2019

Story Time

Grampa was a big help, as Gramma collected the diaper bag and her shoes and her coat and the kid's coat and the spreadsheet with the address of Wednesday's story time. There were a lot of options on Wednesday's agenda, but the Notre Dame related English/Spanish class piqued our interest. We drove to the Notre Dame Center for Civic Innovation, a renovated building on the edge of downtown South Bend. There was a beautiful curving staircase, but we had a little one so the elevator made more sense.... especially since there were all those buttons to push.
Toni Edgar Fein is the Director of Read Baby Read, a Family Literacy Initiative. She brought a bag of books, a sheaf of copy paper filled with Spanish language versions of all the baby songs we sang, and a loving heart. In attendance was a tiny crawling kid, a big girl in a pink sweater set, and Giblet, right in the middle.
Jennifer Wittenbrink Ortega is the Literacy Program Director at the Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture.

She helped the littlest listener stand on her own two feet, while Giblet continued reading the story. She helped the born-in-Peru Mom sing the songs in Spanish; Wheels on the Bus has never been so much fun. She's a living breathing example of the translational nature of the Notre Dame experience - reinforcing positive behaviors, like attending story time, with prizes for one and all.

At the end, we were given a free book (which Gramma forgot to take with us when we left). We filled out a pink slip (which I also forgot) to mark our attendance. Had I remembered to take it with us, it would have been the first in our collection, a collection which could be redeemed for diapers or books or, if we saved enough, for a crib.

Rewarding good parenting, one pink slip at a time, they are bringing the University to the community, one little mind at a time.

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