SALINAS, Calif. - A playground with learning in mind is coming to East Salinas, it will be the first of its kind in Monterey County.
Research shows children do better in school if they've been exposed to language at an early age. It also shows children from poor backgrounds often have a six month gap in language development from their wealthier peers. So why not promote literacy in some of these areas and even that gap? That's what they're doing with this new innovative playground coming to Hebbron Park in east Salinas.
The Literacy Campaign for Monterey County and the City of Salinas have partnered to renovate the old park. Like most playgrounds, there will be slides and tunnels for children to enjoy. But, this one will be enhanced with "Talking is Teaching" panels. They'll feature numbers, shapes and words to encourage caregivers to engage their little ones in conversation as a way to develop their language skills.
"Many parents don't think that they need to do anything to educate their kids. That schools are responsible for that, and we believe if you wait that long then you've squandered five years of opportunity. We're hoping that this kind of a concept, they can use it as an opportunity to learn," said Literacy Campaign for Monterey County President, Len Foster.
The Literacy Campaign will pay for this park, with the promise that the City of Salinas will pay to renovate a second park. The City of Salinas has committed to getting Hebbron Park done this fiscal year.