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Little Learners

Shakes, Pats, and Grins! Inside the Little Learners Playgroup

Shakes, Pats, and Grins! Inside the Little Learners Playgroup

By Pam Chapin, Little Learners Program Director
Editor’s Note: Little Learners Playgroup is a new online program from the LightHouse Little Learners department. This weekly playgroup is for children ages zero to six who are blind, have low vision or Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) and their adults. Learn more about this new program below!
Have you ever heard the clang made by dropping a shaker into a metal mixing bowl? It sounds like a bell.

Last week Little Learners and their grownups gathered to play and learn together during our weekly Zoom playgroup. Little Learners and their siblings were greeted with a song and learned body awareness through music and movement. Whether seated on laps, lying on a blanket, or tucked into a booster seat, fun was had by all. Sensory play included comparing the sounds of different shakers and exploring concepts of fast and slow with movement and sound. 
Children explored by patting pie tins, mouthing the cool edge of a shiny stainless-steel bowl, and placing eggs into a muffin tin to create a Braille cell while adults learned about the importance of each of these stages of development. Little hands and feet explored shapes, sizes, textures and temperatures of different containers from their homes, and concepts such as in and out.

Breaks for snuggles or bottles were enjoyed as needed, and adults had time to share with each other about their experiences and ideas. One Mom shared with her Early Childhood Blind and Low Vision Specialist that she appreciates how much information she is getting to help her child, and to better understand how he learns using all of his senses.
This Thursday’s fun will include edible sensory art, so please contact us if you would like to join!
Little Learners Playgroup is held Thursdays from 9:30 am to 10:15 am. Please RSVP to receive the link and more information by emailing littlelearners@lighthouse-sf.org with your child’s name and age, your name, phone number, and email address.
Meet you in the Zoom Room!
Learn more about how you can participate in or support LightHouse Little Learners online or contact littlelearners@lighthouse-sf.org or 415-694-7374

LightHouse Little Learners Hosts its First Event- the Well-Renowned Lowenfeld-Akeson Early Years Symposium

LightHouse Little Learners Hosts its First Event- the Well-Renowned Lowenfeld-Akeson Early Years Symposium

The Lowenfeld-Akeson Symposium is held every winter to educate service providers, families and students about new developments in the fields of pediatric ophthalmology, neurology and early childhood education of children who are blind or have low vision. It is named after two leading lights in the field of early childhood development, Dr. Berthold Lowenfeld and educator Nancy Akeson. For the past 26 years a number of California-based organizations in this field co-host the symposium and LightHouse is extremely proud to be one of this year’s hosts.

LightHouse board Chair Dr. Sharon Sacks, is a longtime and key organizer of this annual event to help inform professionals and families about best practices in the field of early education, from birth to seven years of age, of children who are blind, deafblind, have low vision or cerebral visual impairment.

This year’s Symposium is entitled “Digging Deeper: Exploring prematurity from visual diagnosis to active learning.” Distinguished speakers will be:

William V. Good, MD, Senior Clinical Research Scientist at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute (SKERI), who will speak on The ABCs of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)

Douglas Fredrick, MD, Director of the Elk’s Children Eye Clinic at the Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health Sciences University, who will speak on Cortical Visual Impairment in the Premature Infant: Seeing In/Looking Out

Patty Obrzut, MS, OTR/L, Assistant Director of the Pendrickton Center for Blind Children, who will speak on Active Learning: Promoting independence and learning in children with multiple special needs

There will be Q&A sessions with each of our presenters.

This event is taking place on Saturday, February 5 over Zoom, from 9.00 am to 3:00 pm. If you are a professional in the early development field, a student interested in the area or a family of a child who is blind or has low vision, this stimulating and thought-provoking event is for you.

The cost is $20 for families and students, and $40 for professionals.

Join a supportive cohort of interested people to learn the latest thinking in this field. You can register here: https://tinyurl.com/bucz64zj

If you have any questions concerning this year’s event, please email at LowenfeldAkeson@gmail.com or call, Jacqueline Barden, at 415-694-7366.