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Norwalk Daily Voice serves Norwalk & Rowayton

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They Find Riches in Playdough

Playschool isn't just for kids. At Naramake School it's a chance for moms and tots to learn together. Two-year-old Jacob Sliwinski and his mom, Joanna, spent Tuesday morning rolling Playdough, riding in toy cars, singing songs and reading stories at the Naramake Playgroup.

"I like that Jacob meets other kids his age and that I get to meet other moms," says Joanna, who has been attending the group for the past three years -- first with her older daughter and now with Jacob.

Some 50 kids, moms and caretakers gathered in the Naramake School gym for an hour-long playgroup, sponsored by the Naramake Family Resource Center. The group, which just reconvened after a short summer break, meets twice a week and is free for all Norwalk residents with children 5 and under.

"My message is that parents are their children's first and best teacher," said Wendy Gerbier, parent educator at the Naramake FRC. In addition to the playgroup, Gerbier leads parenting discussions, does home visits and tracks children's developmental progress.

"You get coaching about how to be a good parent," says Joanna. "Plus you get to complain to other moms. Everyone here understands your experience."

Located in Naramake School, the Naramake Family Resource Center provides services such as the playgroup and preschool and afterschool care to build a successful bridge between home and school.

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