The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, in partnership with the Florence Crittenton Residential Program of Charleston, hosts Baby Scholars for at-risk pregnant women ages 21 and under who are still pursuing their high school diploma or GED. The goals of Baby Scholars are to 1) impart the value of strong, healthy mother-child connections and how to build those relationships, 2) convey the importance of language and literacy on children’s school readiness and how to promote these skills and 3) provide access to CML as a place to learn and grow together.
During each interactive class, participants are introduced to healthy rituals and routines that can be built into everyday tasks but are critical to building connections between parent and child. Instructors and participants discuss how routines help a child know what to expect, feel secure and foster cooperation. Highlighting literacy and language skills are also a key component to the classes. Participants are taught to share basic pre-reading skills, such as describing illustrations and pointing to words as they read while looking left to right and top to bottom with their child. These skills are crucial to kindergarten readiness but do not require proficient reading from the parent.
Baby Scholars serves approximately 30 women per academic year and has been supported by CML since 2010 (formerly funded by RBC Bank).