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ELC students visit ‘community’ in multipurpose room

A boy gets a picture while sitting in his toy carStudents at District 54’s Early Learning Center learned about community helpers in January, and the school’s multipurpose room was transformed into a small community.

“Buildings” taped onto on the walls featured pictures hung inside representing items that the children could purchase, such as food and toys. At these interactive centers, students could order what they wanted and “pay” for it by tapping the hand of an adult the number of times that corresponded to the dollar amount listed on the item. The student was then presented with the picture of the item to tape to their bicycle or car so they could drive away with their purchase. Other “buildings” the children could visit included a fire station and police station.

A girl high fives a teacher to purchase a pretend food itemELC teacher Kathy Petersdorf said the idea for the community came from a student pretending to order a meal from a restaurant. Staff played along, and by the time he was done there was a line of “cars” waiting behind him to take a turn.

“With January being community helpers month, we thought we would put these buildings up,” Petersdorf said. “It teaches the students about community places, some of which they know, some of which they might not. They really enjoy it.”

The activity also incorporated math, literacy, social and gross motor skills.