United Way’s Born Learning Trail Keeps Early Learning on Track

09/07/2014, By Krista Hinz

UPS Volunteers Install First Trail in Phoenix to Benefit Local Children and Families

Valley of the Sun United Way and the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation FitPHX program will unveil the city’s first Born Learning Trail on Thursday, Sept. 11. UPS employees will provide finishing touches before it is unveiled to more than 50 children. Following a short program, local families will experience this community resource through interactive activities such as rhyming, hopscotch and follow-the-leader.

“All children are born learning. The first five years of a child’s life sets the stage for future success in school and life,” said Merl Waschler, Valley of the Sun United Way president and CEO. “Parents, grandparents and caregivers can turn everyday moments into fun learning opportunities to strengthen school readiness.”

"The Born Learning Trail is another great example of FitPHX working with community partners to encourage residents to improve their health," said Councilman Daniel T. Valenzuela. "I am excited to see parents and children enjoying the educational and fitness opportunities this trail will provide the community. We thank the Valley of the Sun United Way and UPS for bringing this innovative program to Phoenix."

Phoenix’s Born Learning Trail provides children under five with an opportunity to get active, have fun and boost language and literacy skills. The Trail features age-appropriate, simple-to-play outdoor activities, in English and Spanish, at stations along a colorful 2,000-foot-path throughout the park. Approximately 30 UPS employees are spending hours installing and creating the interactive outdoor experience.

  • When: Thursday, Sept. 11 | 8:30 a.m.  Program begins 
    - Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, District 5
    - United Way’s President and CEO Merl Waschler 
    - 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.: 50+ Local children from Griffith Elementary School experience Trail for the first time Suggested media arrival time: 8:15 a.m.
  • Where:  Pierce Park, 2150 N. 46th St., Phoenix (northeast of 44th Street and McDowell Road)
  • Why: Early learning is vital for all children. Studies show 80 percent of a child's brain develops by age three and 90 percent develops by age 5.  The Born Learning Trail turns everyday moments into teaching opportunities parents can regularly do with their children – without spending a dime – during an easy walk in the park.

Learn More: Find opportunities to volunteer to help our community’s kids. 

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