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Antique Boat Museum in Clayton offers children’s classes

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CLAYTON — The Antique Boat Museum will offer a new free program dedicated to tying literacy and nautical education for children from infancy up to fifth grade.

“It’s about having a good time, learning something new and socializing after school ... we’ll do different things catering to the different levels of education,” museum educator Julie C. Broadbent said.

The B is for Boat program will offer one-hour classes once a week for different age levels throughout the first week of each month. The first full week is set to begin Monday, Nov. 4, with the baby to prekindergarten class, Baby Boats. Tuesday will feature Silly Skiffs for kindergartners and first-graders. Clever Canoes for second- and third-graders picks up Wednesdays, and the week wraps up with Feisty Freighters for grades four and five on Thursdays.

All classes begin at 3:30 p.m. with the exception of Baby Boats, which starts at 9:30 a.m. The next full week of classes will begin Dec. 2. The program lasts until May.

“Every day kind of has a different book depending on the reading level of the children. For instance, Baby Boats, I’m going to be reading to them, versus the fourth- and fifth-graders who will be reading on their own and creating crafts,” Ms. Broadbent said.

A few books the children can expect to read, depending on their age level, are “Busy Boats” by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker,Kathleen Ryan’s “Larry the Lyman” and “Floating and Sinking” by Ellen Sturm Niz.

Activities may include interactive and imaginary play for infants and toddlers, singing and dancing, coloring, building model boats as well as fishing. In the case of “Floating and Sinking,” Baby Boats can expect to put things in a tub of water and see what floats and what sinks.

“We have a creative, almost engineering-style activity with a variety of recycled materials. They’ll build green boats themselves,” said Ms. Broadbent of one activity.

Most winter programs conducted by the museum are held in schools. Ms. Broadbent said she wanted to change that up and bring students out of that work environment and into something that would still be educational, but equally fun.

“It’s something that hasn’t been done year-round. I think it’s different when it’s open and free to the community; it’s important giving them that choice,” the educator said.

Ms. Broadbent said she will teach each class with several volunteers. Classes are drop-in, so there is no preregistration required. Parents need only bring their child to the front desk at 750 Mary St. From there they will be directed to which gallery the class will be held in that day.

As an additional incentive, children are given a bookmark that is stamped each time they attend a class. When students reach their fifth class they can take the bookmark to the Scoop Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor, 423 Riverside Drive, and retrieve a free scoop of ice cream.

“Bring an open mind, creativity and a good sense of fun. The goal is just to make learning fun,” Ms. Broadbent said .

Additional questions may be directed to Ms. Broadbent at 686-4104 ext. 235.

To learn more about the Antique Boat Museum and other courses or events offered visit www.abm.org.

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