Children of women and families visiting the MATURA WIC clinic in Creston now have more educational opportunities at their fingertips, thanks to the installation of a learning center by Iowa Public Television.
IPTV’s commitment to early childhood education through its Ready for School program provided the learning center at Creston’s MATURA WIC clinic, located 210 Russell St.
The learning center features a bookshelf filled with age-appropriate books to foster children’s early literacy skills. It also features a flat-screen television showing IPTV’s children’s programming.
“In the clinic setting, the parents are often talking to one of our professional staff, so that leaves some of the kids with nothing to do or just playing with toys,” said Karla Hynes, WIC/MCAH director for MATURA Action Corporation. “So, having these books, which are amazing books, as an option for them to have something to read or having the television up with educational programming gives them something to occupy them.”
The addition of the learning center allows parents time to have time with the dietitians and nurses to ask questions while not worrying about what their children are doing.
The books and television were dropped off at the Creston location April 17. Included were nearly 100 books, which IPTV said it will restock, so the MATURA WIC clinic does not have to worry about inventory running low if children find a book they like and take it home with them.
“We’re excited to bring a Ready for School learning center to Creston, where families can spend time together reading books and watching trusted, age-appropriate programming,” said Ken Harrison, director of educational services at IPTV. “Iowa Public Television uses the power of media to spark children’s curiosity to get them excited about learning.”
Hynes said the books have seen heavy traffic already, as the first two days the clinic had the books were WIC Clinic Days in the Creston office.
“I would say there’s close to 100 books here,” she said. “They’re cute little books. I think there’s some Dr. Seuss in there, all sorts of different ones. There was one about llamas and one child just wanted that book, so we said, ‘OK, take it.’”
The Ready for School initiative partners IPTV educational specialists with educators, parents, care providers and community partners to implement literacy-based activities designed to enhance early reading and math skills for children ages 2 through 8. IPTV provides access to high-quality educational media resources including online games, instructional materials and educational activities that help children increase their school readiness and success.
MATURA WIC is a nutritional educational program that serves women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum and children up to 5 years old.
“MATURA has provided the WIC program in the (nine) counties we serve for over 40 years,” said Hynes. “We’ve tried to remove any kind of barrier for people to come see us.”