Honey Brook, PA --United Way of Chester County’s Day of Caring project November 4th supports the organization’s Early Childhood Education Initiative through installation of its 9th Born Learning Trail at James A. Umble Memorial Park on Supplee Road.  Volunteers from SABIC Innovative Plastics will provide the manpower for the installation under guidance from Honey Brook Township Facilities Director and its Park and Recreation Committee. The Honey Brook Lions Club first entertained the United Way’s proposal to install a Born Learning Trail for their community over a year ago, and was instrumental in identifying a site easily accessible to most families in this rural area.

The Born Learning Trail is part of United Way of Chester County’s Early Childhood Education Initiative and is designed to assist parents and other caregivers in engaging their young children in early learning activities. The Trail is composed of a series of signs and stencils prompting parents or other caregivers and young children through language development activities. Since 2009 the United Way of Chester County has been building community awareness about the value of early learning through installation of trails in sites throughout the county-Phoenixville, West Grove, West Chester, East Goshen, Coatesville, Downingtown and Parkesburg. Many businesses, municipalities, nonprofit service providers, corporate and civic volunteers have joined the United Way in their initiative efforts.  The trail in Honey Brook was funded through a grant United Way received from 1675 Foundation with support from SABIC-IP. 

Soon 8 of the Born Learning Trails, including the new one at Umble Park, will add Little Free Libraries, which function as free lending sites for pre-k level books. The child-sized libraries are designed to promote reading with a “take one, leave one” approach at the outdoor activity locations. This latest enhancement was afforded by a grant United Way received from CCRES.

United Way of Chester County CEO, Claudia Hellebush noted “Research tells us children are literally ‘born learning.’ That means five years of education take place before they ever enter kindergarten. Early learning is essential to success in school, which is essential to success in life.  We’re thankful to partners like SABIC and Honey Brook Township who help us bring these trails to communities across Chester County- we want to help parents, grandparents and other caregivers use everyday outings like trips to Umble Park to support that learning.”

Studies show that preparing and supporting children to grow into healthy and functional adults begins at birth and quality early learning is a key factor in that development. When adults interact with young children –talking, singing, playing rhyming games – they stimulate language and vocabulary development and build important foundations for learning to read.  The Born Learning Trails as part of the larger Early Education Initiative is strategically focused on touching many lives, particularly in rural or underprivileged communities, and promoting early childhood learning as the norm in Chester County.

For more information about Born Learning Trails or the James A. Umble Memorial Park installation, contact Mary Anne Feeley at 610- 429-9400.