Ocean Themed Literacy Program Makes a Big Splash with Local Children

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida’s volunteer Julia Frederick dressed as a shark acting out a rhyme with children from Brandts Child Care in St. Augustine.

Over the summer the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida’s (ELC) outreach team is holding a series of ocean themed literacy programs in local preschool centers.


The programs consist of an interactive story time featuring ocean themed books, songs and rhymes followed by an activity time. During the activity time the children get to make their own ocean in a bottle, paint seashells, make sand necklaces and ocean themed hats. Children learn about marine creatures and life in the coral reefs as they feel real pieces of coral and touch different types of shells. Each child receives a free ocean themed book to take home.


Volunteers are the key to success for this program and the other themed programs that the ELC puts on, including: Space, Meet the Masters, Dinosaurs, Mother Goose “Rhymers are Readers” and Eric Carle’s World of Colors. Volunteers help the ELC in two main ways. The first is by being an outreach volunteer that assists in putting on programs. These volunteers read stories, sing songs, lead craft activities and maybe wear themed costumes – such as a shark for the ocean themed program. The second way volunteers help is by being a weekly reading volunteer to a group of local preschool children. Reading volunteers get the privilege of exposing the same group of children each week to great books and get to plant the seed of early reading.


For more information about volunteering contact Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Outreach Manager at [email protected] or 904-342-2267.


The ELC provides child care assistance to families who meet certain income requirements and who are working or going back to school. This school readiness program is designed to increase a child’s chance of achieving future educational success. The ELC also administers and manages Florida’s FREE VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds). 


For more information about the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and its other programs and services, please visit, www.elcnorthflorida.org or call 904-342-2267.



Early Learning Coalition of North Florida