Newark Public Library's Family Fun Fest Draws Hundreds on December 1

Family Fun Fest at Main Library was the fifth and final financial fair of the Library's 18-month-long bilingual financial education initiative to provide lifelong lessons in saving, spending, and sharing to preschoolers throughout Newark.

"This was an exceptional event and an exciting opportunity for families to engage in learning together at the Library," said Library Director Wilma Grey. "We are so grateful to the PNC Foundation, including its volunteers, for supporting Family Fun Fest and the entire financial education for preschoolers program."

Families met Walkaround Abby from Sesame Street, and took part in a "Whose Hat Is That?" activity featuring hats associated with different careers, costumes and puppets; and movement, music and dance with Pitter Patter Feet; and face painting by the Newark Museum Science Explorers. There also was a play grocery store, crafts, puzzles, and other activities. Each child shopped at a bookstore where they selected a free book.

The fair included the musical performance "Money Matters" by Beth & Scott; storytelling by Julie Pasqual; and balloon art by Goowin's Balloowins.

Parent Marie Stolberg said, "My children are four and two and very much into reading. Overall this was a beautiful event and now they understand the concept of sharing, spending, and saving."

Community partners provided information on child care, early childhood education, health and nutrition, family financial planning and budgeting. They included Newark Public School's Office of Early Childhood; the City of Newark's Office of Sustainability; Greater Newark Conservancy; iReform; Kean University's Mu Sigma Upsilon; Newark Essex Foreclosure Task Force; Programs for Parents; and The Gem Project. The Library's reference librarians provided job search and career assistance.

Attendees received a copy of the For Me, for You, for Later: First Steps to Spending, Sharing, and Saving kit, developed by Sesame Workshop in partnership with PNC.

The Library is exceeding its goal of reaching 7,500 preschoolers with librarian-led story times and story telling musical performances. The program is made possible through a $300,000 grant from the PNC Foundation through its signature cause, Grow Up Great, a multi-year, $350 million initiative to enhance early childhood education and school readiness.

Remaining performances include:

Anna E. Kravis and her puppet friends will teach how to use money wisely during this bilingual English-Spanish musical show.

Thursday, December 13, 10:30am, Van Buren Branch

Crabgrass Puppet Theater will present a musical and comedic retelling of the classic fairy tale, "Jack and the Beanstalk."

Tuesday, December 11, 10:30am, Weequahic Branch

Wednesday, December 12, 4:00pm, North End Branch

Thursday, December 13, 10:00am, Springfield Branch

Visit www.npl.org for more information about Financial Education for Preschoolers at the Newark Public Library, sponsored by the PNC Foundation.