Wesley Scully (left) and Amy Boren (right)

Wesley Scully (left) and Amy Boren (right)

Purdue University North Central students in the club Purdue Learning About Young Children in Education (PLAYCE) recently donated children’s books to Bradley House and Head Start in Michigan City so that youngsters would have new books to read while visiting those organizations.

The books were purchased with funds from a grant presented to the PNC Early Childhood Education program by the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation of Midland, Mich. Previous PLAYCE president Erin Foust used the grant money to purchase the books and current PLAYCE members to decided where they should go.

PLAYCE member Wesley Scully, an elementary education major from Michigan City, has close ties to both organizations. Both groups were in dire need of children’s books, said Scully.

Amy Boren, of Chesterton, the PLAYCE co-president, explained that PLAYCE members to “do whatever we can to support local programs. By donating these books, we hope that we can be a help instill in young children a love and passion for reading.”

The donated books include picture books for infants and beginning chapter books for early primary grades. The topics covered farm animals, construction equipment, fire trucks, “I Spy” books, “Mommy and Me” and ABC’s and 123’s, said Boren.

Scully and Boren are thrilled to have the opportunity to help nurture a love of reading with young people.

“We are trying to accomplish something great for the surrounding communities,” said Scully. “I have been a Michigan City resident since birth and feel a great deal of pride and a soft spot in my heart for this community.”

According to Boren, “Early Childhood Education is critical. The U.S. Department of Education states that approximately 46 percent of America’s kindergarteners are coming to school at risk for failure. Experiences in the first six years of life will have a substantial and lasting effect on each child’s life whether they are positive or negative. The goal of Early Childhood Educators is to make sure that all children are ready to succeed when they enter school by offering experiences that promote social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.”

PLAYCE members work hard to promote early childhood education. They’ve made presentations at local, state and national conferences and sponsored an Early Childhood Conference. They threw a holiday party for Porter County foster families and financially supported a “KinderCones” project hosted by the Purdue North Central Women’s Association and the PNC Social Work Department to provide school supplies for Pine Elementary kindergarteners.

PLAYCE sponsored a community carnival and library events to promote quality early care and education. Another Early Childhood Education carnival is planned for April. The group plans to “adopt” a local day care during the holidays to help fulfill its educational needs.

Scully, already a coach with the Michigan City High football program, hopes to teach and coach in his home community. He is inspired by the words that philosopher John Locke wrote in “Thoughts Concerning Education” in 1693, “The well educating of their children is so much the duty and concern of parents, and the welfare and prosperity of the nation so much depends on it, that I would have every one lay it seriously to heart.”

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