A mobile learning program will be at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center on Tuesday and Wednesday, offering young children and their parents a chance to prepare for kindergarten.

The "Ready for School & Life Mobile Learning Adventure: The Learning is All Around Me" event is geared toward children up to age 5, said Nicole Shaffer, director of marketing and communications for the United Way of York County.

One of the main goals is to give parents examples of activities that will prepare children for kindergarten, Shaffer said.

About 500 students from local early education centers will go through the stations, Shaffer said, but organizers are encouraging parent participation, too.

"We would love to see the parents at the event," Shaffer said.

Free event: The kiosks at the free event will include educational topics in the form of games, Shaffer said, including activities that have children matching colors, identifying letters and recognizing patterns, among other things.

Shaffer said research shows students who weren't in a pre-school program often enter kindergarten 30 percent behind students who did. York offers many programs at little to no cost to families, and will have information available for parents who want to enroll their children but aren't sure of the process, Shaffer said.

"We have so many programs to make that happen," she said.


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And no matter what level children are at, the activities will give parents ideas of how they can boost their children's learning at home, Shaffer said.

This is the first time the United Way is participating in the mobile learning event, but the program is a staple for PNC's Grow Up Great program, another host of the events at the Strand.

Children who attend the event will be able to take a "When I Grow Up" photo and receive a free framed photo to take home. There will also be giveaways such as activity books and ready for school kits.

The events will take place each day from 12 to 3 p.m. at the Strand, 50 N. George St. in York.

— Reach Nikelle Snader at nsnader@yorkdispatch.com.