By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Tupelo Public School District is offering a workshop today to help preschool parents better play with their children.

The workshop, titled “Importance of Play,” will be offered at the Early Childhood Education Center from 11 a.m. to noon. It is connected to the school’s new Early Beginnings Resource Center, which is designed to offer educational materials and various workshops for parents of young children.

Today’s free workshop is geared for all parents of 4-year-old children and will be led by Reyna Shackelford, the district’s Parents as Teachers educator.

Participants will learn ways to play with their children to help them learn.

“Children learn best by doing, and play is an active process that supports children’s learning,” said TPSD Federal Programs Director Dale Warriner. “It needs to be focused. It is not just random play.”

The play supports students’ physical, social, emotional and creative learning, Warriner said. It also helps them in learning science, math, language and literacy.

Participants also will receive family-friendly handouts with tips.

“I think the purpose of the workshop is to let parents know how to get involved in their child’s play,” said ECEC lead teacher Anita Buchanan. “Through that, they can expand to so many areas.

“Play is important to children. They have to touch, do it and experience it. That then allows them to make connections for further learning opportunities.”

Parents who attend also will be able to visit the new resource center and check out materials.

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