Young children learn through play. Over 60% of the children in Skagit County are not in licensed daycare facilities and 60% are not prepared for kindergarten. Even the most well-meaning of parents often lack the skills – and the tools – to really help their children develop the cognitive and social skills necessary to succeed in preschool, let alone in life. This collaborative community project, including the Children’s Museum of Skagit County, the City of Burlington, the Leadership Skagit Team TIGAKS, the Children’s Council of Skagit County and United Way of Skagit County, will utilize the mobile fire engine to ignite the minds of children and families to inspire life-long learning. The early years of a child’s life (prenatal through age 8) are increasingly recognized as foundational to a child’s long-term health and achievement. Early learning has significant implications through the lifespan – done well, it leads to positive social adjustment, higher academic attainment, greater economic returns, improved health, and reduced crime. In other words – successful early learning is critical to children and to our community!
This mobile vehicle for education has great potential to bring age-appropriate, proven learning tools to children and their caregivers where they live and play. We have created programs, with an emphasis on literacy and STEAM learning that will be available to the families and children, including the most vulnerable in our county. This includes books, art projects and other learning materials, for families to take with them, to extend and reinforce learning opportunities.
Our plan is to create a program that is sustainable for at least 10 years or more. The Fire Engine an amazing opportunity to bring ‘play’ to children and their families in a non-threatening and exciting way. Frankie will also be out and visible at events and parades, to support other organizations, and to become a trusted fixture in our community.