It’s electric! LINC’s Diversity Through Literacy campaign has begun and the circuits are running! On Wednesday, April 26, children’s book author and illustrator, and LINC board member, Tracy Dockray lit up the room as she read Bright Dreams: The Brilliant Inventions of Nikola Tesla, her very own work, to over 50 online participants!
The bilingual program featured a captivating read aloud in Spanish and English, as well as two electricity demonstrations and an illustration lesson in drawing cats courtesy of Tracy. Why cats you may ask? It was a spark from the protagonist Nikola’s cat that ignited his imagination over 150 years ago when he was just a child. Young Nikola was an avid reader and used candles in order to read pages deep into the night! He was a Serbian immigrant growing up in the United States and he faced a number of adversities in his life, including learning challenges. Some believe Tesla may have been on the autism spectrum, and today he is a role model for his ingenuity and determination to forge his own educational path. Over the course of his life, Tesla made dozens of breakthroughs in the production of electric power.
“This story of invention and imagination reminds us not to give up. Support our children and they will succeed as Nikola Tesla did. We are our children’s first and most important teacher. Knowledge is power and we are their best advocates,” said Evelyn Cabreja, a Workshop and Delivery Implementation Specialist at LINC.
Following the story and demonstrations, LINC staff gave parent tips for early childhood development and resources for parents who believe their children may have learning delays, noting that early intervention is crucial. Screening for autism is recommended at 18 and 24 months.
“The connections in a child's brain are most adaptable in their first three years of life, and over time they become harder to change. Picture clay, when it’s brand new and right out the box-it's’ easy to mold, but if you leave it out for a bit, it begins to dry and and molding becomes challenging. It doesn't mean you can't do it, it may just take more work such as using some water to soften it. Well that’s kind of how the brain works which drives a child’s learning, behavior, and health. If a child is provided with an enriching environment and equipped with the right tools and resources, he or she will thrive. So if you’re ever concerned about your child’s development, please don’t wait! Acting early can really make a difference." Michelle Vidalis, Program Manager, Northern Manhattan Early Childhood Collaborative
The fun continued with a scavenger hunt and a game of show and tell, where children were excited to share their unique drawings of cats. Just as each child’s cat varied in shape, size, color, and how they strut their stuff, our hope is that all children will honor their authentic selves, and build both confidence and empathy as they read books.
Spread the word and celebrate Diversity Through Literacy with LINC!
Thank you to our guest author and illustrator, Tracy Dockray, and to LINC staff and families for this captivating program, which reminds us that we are all equal and all full of possibility. Tracy has generously donated copies of her book and they will be raffled off to the families who joined us yesterday.
To register for LINC’s latest programs, visit: www.lincnyc.org/onlineprograms.