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Born Learning Trail Opened at Otsiningo Park

Barbara Fiala and Alan Hertel

The first Born Learning Trail to be created in New York opened officially this morning [Friday, October 17] at 10:30 a.m. at Otsiningo Park. It was installed as part of United Way's Day of Caring program on September 11 by volunteers who are members of United Way's Young Leaders Group under the leadership of Oliver Blaise III and Scotty Brown. Tom Griffiths served as construction coordinator of the project. Funds for the project came from the businesses which sponsor Day of Caring.

Participating in the opening ceremony were Alan Hertel, Executive Director of United Way of Broome County; Barbara J. Fiala, Broome County Executive; and Anne Reyen, co-chair of Day of Caring.

Born Learning is a national program which began in Chicago and is now spreading throughout America thanks to co-sponsorship by United Way. Similar Born Learning Trails will be opened in other area of New York soon.

The Born Learning Trail has nine activity stations which suggest activities children and adults can do together while visiting the park, including some involving shapes, colors, letters, and numbers.

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Born Learning Trail Opens

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The local trail has been enhanced by Bill Mihalko, a local artist who added whimsical animals to the activity stations.

"I want to thank the United Way, volunteers, sponsors and our county parks employees for their contributions to creating the first Born Learning Trail in New York State here at Otsiningo Park," said Broome County Executive Barbara J. Fiala. "The trail is a unique way to inspire our children through playing in the park."

Anne Reyen, co-chair of Day of Caring, said, “Children are constantly learning, right from birth. Their early years are the foundation for growth and development, and what they learn during those years depends on the experiences they have each and every day. The Born Learning Trail is designed to help parents and other caregivers use everyday activities to help prepare young children for success in school and life.”

This year's gold sponsors of Day of Caring are: Columbian Financial Group, Health Now New York, Giant Food Markets, Visions Federal Credit Union, BAE Systems, IBM, Ametek Aerospace & Defense, Target, Endicott Interconnect Technologies, and Oakdale Mall.

01/01/2008 - 12:00am