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August Leap Into Learning Events

Leap Into Learning Supercharged Storytime visits continue
Wednesdays: Program Assessment and Planning
8/8: Storytime and free carousel rides at Bushnell Park, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
8/20: Letter scavenger hunt and free carousel rides at Bushnell Park, 3-4:30 p.m.
TBD: Butterfly Launch Lunch at Elizabeth Park, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Click here for the complete August calendar of events.

We're Going On A Letter Hunt!

Understanding shapes and matching are key literacy components. We will use these skills to embark on a letter-themed scavenger hunt. Meet us at the Bushnell Park Carousel on Saturday, August 20th to decode clues and discover the prize waiting for you. A special prize will be awarded to the group that decodes their clues the fastest!

Let's Explore Metamorphosis!

Did you know caterpillars and ladybugs have similar life cycles? We will learn about their lifecycle firsthand as we observe their metamorphosis. Our butterfly and ladybug kits are here! Seven providers are observing caterpillars. One adventurous provider will explore both caterpillars and ladybugs. The metamorphosis process of each batch will determine our butterfly launch date. It will be held at Elizabeth Park from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., lunch is included.


Our first literacy night event was a hit! Our featured story was Read to Your Bunny by Rosemary Wells. We focused on the importance of reading. 

It was heartwarming to see everyone participate virtually. It brought me great joy to see everyone reading along, cutting out and completing their home-school connection activity kit.

Our main takeaways on reading to little ones:

  • Children are like lunch boxes; don't put anything in, don't expect anything out. 
  • Break down the suggested 20-minute reading time into smaller segments. Try four, 5-minute intervals: breakfast, ride/walk to and/or from child care, recipe or food containers at dinner and a bedtime story.
  • Whatever you read counts! Read recipes, words on your little one's clothing, directions to a new toy or a game, or traffic and restaurant signs when traveling. 
  • Repeating your little one's favorite book counts!

Leap Into Learning Literacy Program For Home Daycare Providers

"Reading aloud is the foundation for literacy development. It is the single most important activitiy for reading success." (Bredekamp, Coople & Neuman, 2000).

Are you a Hartford home daycare provider looking for new and exciting ways to engage the children and families you serve in literacy? Look no further! The Hartford Public Library is pleased to offer the Leap Into Learning literacy program.

This service is for children ages birth through five, along with their parents and caregivers, to ensure all children in Hartford are well prepared and enter kindergarten ready to learn.

This interactive, immersive literacy program will offer support to home daycare providers in the form of:

  • Early literacy resources and training
  • Books, activities and materials
  • Story time home visits
  • HPL teacher cards
  • Library cards for children and families

Interested? Complete this online form or send an email to Leap Into Learning Program Coordinator Nichole Hawkins at

Patricipating providers who care for children ages birth to five will receive access to good quality early literacy resources and enjoy special literacy events, plus beneficial training for providers and parents. Providers can also apply for an HPL teacher card which allows providers to:

  • Borrow books and materials for up to 4 weeks with two-week renewals and no fines
  • Request book selections from branch librarians
  • Help children and families obtain a library card of their own

Providers and parents are encouraged to join us at Hartford Public Library's Summer Learning kickoff event on Saturday, June 18th at the Downtown Library (500 Main St.) to learn more.

Leap Into Learning is sponsered by the Gawlicki Family Foundation.

Meet Program Coordinator Nichole Hawkins

Nichole is a Hartford resident with decades of experience in early childhood education. She ran a home daycare for 10 years, worked for ECHN as a family support provider and during the pandemic launched Legacy Lineage, a virtual preschool classroom to support families in homeschooling. She is excited to share the Supercharged Storytime framework and the beneficial strategies she's mastered to empower the participants of the Leap Into Learning program on all levels.