March 18, 2019

A joyful “Thank You!” from Ava at Blackburn Elementary

Ava dances at the South Florida Museum while fellow Soar in 4 families play music in the courtyard.  Besides providing enjoyment, music can play an important role in language and literacy development. Repetition in songs supports and enhances emergent literacy by offering children an opportunity to read higher-leveled text.

Ava is a first grader, and Alara is in VPK at Blackburn. They create a dice game, becoming fast friends at February’s Soar in 4. Dice games are fun and versatile; they encourage counting and numbers in younger children and quick mental addition in older children. Dice games are also excellent at reinforcing the concept of taking turns, scoring (both mental and on paper), winning and losing gracefully, patience and so much more!

Ava and her mom both look forward to Soar in 4 evenings and have started to encourage others to join. When asked about Ava’s favorite activities, the list was ongoing: music, origami, breakdancing. “She just loves it and so do I,” mom says. “The activities get the kids engaged and learning new and fun things.” Mom stressed the large variety of age appropriate activities and the importance of volunteers leading activities and remaining engaged in them. “Soar in 4 doesn’t just throw ideas at us and tell the kids to just go play… leaders are actually interested in playing with the kids and ensuring the families are learning and comfortable.” When Ava heard Mom talking about how much they enjoyed Soar in 4, the first grader came up and shouted a joyful, “Thank you!” to pass on to the community that has come together to create such a meaningful experience.