FREDERICK, MD, [May 3, 2021] — Frederick County Public Libraries (FCPL) and Johns Hopkins Community Physicians are working together to celebrate Children’s Mental Health Matters Week from May 2-8, 2021.  With support from Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, FCPL will be offering a new line of Smart Start Kits as part of their Learning From Home initiative.

The kits are an expansion of their existing program, with hands-on and screen-free educational enrichment tools made to spark excitement and learning through play. The new kits will offer two new subjects, STEAM-based learning and Social Emotional tools that provide new ways to learn and promote relationship skills, self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and responsible decision making. FCPL is also offering a full lineup of virtual events to support this important initiative that will include physical movement and tips on fostering strong emotional skills with children, as well as outdoor StoryPaths to encourage families to get out and move and learn together.

“Over the past year, we’ve heard from many of our customers that their youngest children need new screen-free activities, so we created these kits in response to that need,” said Deb Spurrier, Children’s Services Supervisor at Thurmont Regional Library. “Our current kits have had a constant waitlist and thanks to the support of Johns Hopkins Community Physicians we now have a broader selection of STEAM-focused tools that provide high-quality early educational experiences for young children.”

Smart Start Kits are tailor made for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade and provide all necessary tools for an afternoon of activities. Johns Hopkins Community Physicians donated funding for FCPL to distribute the kits to area children.

“Children learn how to make friends, regulate their emotions, and manage anxiety through their peers, trusted adults, and caretakers,” explained Rorie Cox-Steib, Children’s Services Supervisor at C. Burr Artz Public Library. “This past year has disconnected many children from their social structure. These kits work to bridge the gap between learning from home to learning in school, helping children to practice and strengthen these less tangible skills from the comfort of their own homes.”

Frederick County Public Libraries is proud to support Children’s Mental Health Matters Week as a Community Champion. More information about this initiative is available at www.childrensmentalhealthmatters.org.

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Phil Graves
Posted by: Phil Graves

The community news source for the Brunswick, Maryland area