Family Day at Child Development Center

By Steven Adamo

Parents were welcomed Saturday by the East Los Angeles College Child Development Center and PBS SoCal for Family Day. 

The event, organized by students of the ELAC Child Development 7 class and members of the ELAC Child Development Club, featured activities inspired by PBS Kids television shows.

This event shared the kinds of activities offered to the children and families at the Child Development Center with the neighborhood. 

Nancy Duran, teacher at the ELAC Child Development Center and adjunct professor for the Child, Family and Education Study department, said the students gain experience through supporting community events like this, such as working with local organizations and families. 

The event featured the main character of the animated PBS Kids television show “Molly of Denali,” who also inspired the morning’s event activities. 

Sandra Cruz, early learning program manager at PBS SoCal | KCET, said that students at the center were assisting the PBS team members with the various activities in front of the center. 

“All the PBS Kids shows are created with an educational concept, ‘Molly of Denali’s’ focus is really literacy, informational texts and how we use words, print, all in our everyday life,” Cruz said.

Many of the activities focused on science, such as Earth and environmental sciences, using toy cars on ramps set up at varying heights. 

Some art activities were also set up for families, including sections for painting and molding mazes with clay.

 CDC teacher Jennifer Jarman said that the activity helps build fine motor skills in the children.

Duran met Cruz at last year’s City of STEM conference in Downey, where they learned that they shared similar goals with their work in the community; leading to the Family Day events at the CDC. 

The event began virtually, but as Covid restrictions eased, in-person events started again last semester. 

Each of these events has a focus around a PBS Kids show, many of which focus on subjects like Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics that make up the “STEAM”acronym. 

“Our goal through the curriculum, is to create playful learning experiences for the family unit,” said Cruz.

Cruz specified that the activities offered are available to all members of the family, including siblings, cousins, caregivers or an adult role model in the child’s life. “We welcome the entire family, it doesn’t have to be just a nuclear mom, dad,” Cruz said. 

Yin Mo Tse, CD23 practicum student at ELAC, said the children were excited to work on these activities along with their families. 

“Since it’s windy outdoors, sometimes the wind would blow down the whole structure,” Tse said, “many parents were especially interested in how to play with the cups in different ways and how to explain if the structure falls.”

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