The Lions Step In
Pam and Heather teamed up with the Lions club through Wayne Davis, former Middletown Elementary principal, who was a very active Lions club member. Together, they formed the Children First Lions Club, a specialty club that focused on the educational needs of children during the years before kindergarten. The Lions provided the volunteer and community resources needed to get the Little Lions program started and keep it successful.
The program is free to the community and requires parents to get involved with their children’s early education. Meeting twice a month at the elementary school, Little Lions teaches basic skills such as using scissors, holding pencils, taking turns and rhyming words. By holding the program at the school, children get used to the building, the teachers and the classroom setting, so they are not as overwhelmed on their first day of kindergarten.
Ready to Learn
The Little Lions program started off with just a couple of children and their parents attending. Now, at least 10 children show up per session. When the first day of school comes around, they are confident in the classroom after being familiarized with the people and the environment. “Now, children sit and listen to a whole story,” said Marjorie Davis, Children First Lions Club member. “Parents see a world of difference as far as following directions and listening. And when the children go to school, they are more successful.”
For many children, the peak time to learn is from ages 3 to 5. Without a good foundation or an enjoyment of learning at these ages, they can get lost along the way and become turned off by education. Introducing them to learning before they start school can help them succeed in the classroom for years to come.