The Collaboration for Early Childhood Care & Education is a nonprofit organization that uses the combined talents and skills of child care providers, early childhood teachers, school districts and libraries in Oak Park, Forest Park and River Forest to highlight the needs of young children and to develop community programming to meet those needs.

It’s a group of committed and knowledgeable people and the idea is a great one, leveraging expertise and funding in novel and comprehensive ways.  It’s truly a model of community involvement. I’ve helped with the annual February Symposium. For the spring, they are sponsoring another event:  Tune Out TV.

Starting April 3rd  and continuing through the 17th, there are special programs aimed at encouraging children and their families to abandon the TV and get involved in their communities. Specific details can be found at

The events range from swimming to tours of the police station but most pertinent to book lovers are the story times at the libraries, Blue Max Coffee, Magic Tree Books, and Brown Cow Ice Cream.  In addition, the Borders Store in Oak Park is sponsoring “Raise a Reader.” Details are available at the store.

Another event that promises to be fun is the Book Hunt. Similar to a scavenger hunt, the participants look for book cut-outs all over the three communities and enter their locations into their Book Hunt Log.  Logs are available at the River Forest and Forest Park libraries and at the elementary schools.

Check out the array of activities that are planned for these two weeks, turn off your TV and attend a few. You’ll get to spend quality time with your child, you’ll feel energized by meeting new people, and it will feel like spring is coming even if the temperature remains at the freezing point.

Join the discussion on social media!

Helen Kossler

Helen Kossler loves reading aloud to her grandchildren and is not ashamed to admit that she almost always likes the book better than the movie. She has been buying, borrowing, begging and stealing (well—not...

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