January 6, 2017.  (Key West, FL).  Key West Art & Historical Society Partners with Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition in New Toddler Program

Young children and their parents have an opportunity to learn more about their cultural heritage through the efforts of the Key West Art & Historical Society and their newest partnership with Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition.  Together, they will offer Littles on the Lawn, a new education program that celebrates storytelling while inviting children and parents to explore the Key West Lighthouse and the artifacts, dioramas, and immersive exhibits housed at the Keeper’s Quarters Museum located at 938 Whitehead Street.

“The idea behind providing weekly early childhood education sessions is to offer parents and toddlers alternative options for social interaction and provide a stimulating learning environment,” says Adele Williams, Key West Art & Historical Society Director of Education. “Most importantly we want children and families to take ownership of the museums, advocating and engaging friends and family in the art and history of the Florida Keys.”

Led by early childhood educator Jennie Perloff and Healthy Start Community Liason Leah Stockton, each session will begin with songs and stories, with plenty of time for free play, socialization, and exploration of the museum’s offerings. Littles on the Lawn will also have their own set of the much-loved, oversized Imagination Playground building blocks, generously sponsored by Society supporter Lee Garrison.

Littles on the Lawn is the second installation of programs geared towards early childhood education for ages 5 and under and runs from 10:00AM to 12:00PM the second Saturday of each month from now until May:  January 14, February 11, March 11, April 8, and May 13.  Free parking is available. The Society also offers a Parent & Me program from 10AM-12PM on Thursdays at Fort East Martello, which will resume at the end of the month after entry upgrades and other necessary construction on the Fort property are concluded.

“Any time you’re putting down roots and starting your family and home, it’s good to know the history of your community,” says Coalition Executive Director Arianna Nesbit. “Giving families access and encouraging them to see these historic spaces is a gift we can give to our children.”

In addition to the historic education component offered, “this partnership will allow parents to build their parenting network and new friendships within it,” says Nesbit.

Sessions are free for members and $5 for non-members, with financial assistance available by calling Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition at 305.293.8424 or emailing  info@keyshealthystart.org. Coffee will be provided; families are encouraged to bring their own snacks and blankets. For more information, visit KWAHS.ORG/LEARN or call Adele Williams, Director of Education at 305.295.6616 extension 115. Your museums.  Your community.  It takes an island.

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Four-year-old Alexander Hunt rocks out with Imagination Playground building blocks, generously sponsored by Society supporter Lee Garrison. ­­­­The building blocks are just one of the many activities available at Key West Art & Historical Society’s newest education program, Littles on the Lawn, at the Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarter’s Museum from 10:00AM to 12:00PM on the second Saturday of every month until May beginning January 14. For more information, visit KWAHS.ORG/EDUCATION or call Adele Williams, Director of Education at 305.295.6616 extension 115.