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New Program Shows Children Can Learn While They Play

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Playing to learn. Nearly 5,000 pre-k students were on field trips around the city Thursday.

Andrea Fujii explains it’s all part of a new early learning program.

Making animal sounds in City Hall, by both 4-year-olds and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

The mayor reading to Hamilton Elementary pre-schoolers is just one part of “Pre-k at Play.” It’s a new city schools initiative for all pre-k students to take field trips and learn through experiences.

“We talk about the role of leadership and they’re excited to meet her,” said Jennifer Naughten, teacher.

Alexander Morales’ mom says right now her son learns best outside the classroom.

“They get a chance to see the mayor and see how the city works, who runs the city, they’re learning about that,” said Dolores Morales, mother.

Teachers say research shows early child development is strengthened when students participate in activities like taking a tour of City Council chambers.

About a dozen places were visited Thursday. Besides City Hall, students went to Port Discovery and the Maryland Science Center.

“We have to find out-of-the-box things to give them experiences, to give them experiences that they’re going to remember forever,” said Rawlings-Blake.

To keep the children learning all summer long, they also received a free one-day pass to various historical and cultural institutions in the city.

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