The Little Ones Learning Center (LOLC) is a free early literacy program which serves children 0 - 6 (early elementary school) in and around the Rondout Valley School District, primarily the Accord - Kerhonkson area.
Little Ones Learning Center is a fun and accessible place for children of all ages (primarily 0 - 6), and their caregivers, to experience a combination of reading, play, song and craft activities. LOLC offers a bright and welcoming place for children to read and hear stories read by a caring, experienced adult on any number of themes about their environment. Each LOLC session includes story hour, crafts, songs and activities along the day's theme, and ends with free play using the dozens of toys, puppets, puzzles, and manipulatives in the LOLC reading room.
Best of all, Little Ones Learning Center is a resource with over 3,000 best-loved books, including new titles, which are available for parents to use to extend literacy activities at home. Parents are required to stay with their children and are encouraged to take home sheets with book extenders that include other books, songs and activities related to the daily theme.
LOLC began as an outreach program of the Ellenville Library and was fostered by the Ulster County branch of Cornell Cooperative Extension. CCE funded and managed LOLC (then known as Little Ones' Library) until January 2005. A not-for-profit corporation, Friends of Little Ones Inc., was formed and a volunteer board of directors was organized to continue the program which operates as the Little Ones Learning Center. A new coordinator was hired and the program was extended from two days to three per week. Special programs are held during the year, often in conjunction with other community groups or businesses. Examples include our popular annual Truck Day, A Day at Kelder's Farm, A Visit to Stone Ridge Orchards, and Bedtime With Books.
Our goal at LOLC is to develop literate and productive adults whose development has been nurtured by literacy opportunities in their critical early years. The near term goal is to engage children in appropriate language and literacy experiences with caring adults, and establish a literacy-rich environment in homes which will support early childhood development and readiness for school. It is also our goal to build a community asset that will have an impact on public policy by educating adults about the critical nature of early language and literacy development, and to develop a visible culture that values literacy as a positive community norm.
Friends of Little Ones Inc. is a NYS-registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, funded in part by the Office of Children and Family Services via the Ulster County Legislature/Youth Bureau Division, the NYS Legislaure via Assemblyman Clifford Crouch - 107th District, and Senator John A. Bonacic - 42nd District, the Town of Rochester, Provident Bank, Stewart's Shops, The Revenue Markets Inc., and various community organizations, public and private donors.