Brain building at the Zoomazium

“Una tortuga! A turtle!” Hands on learning took an especially fun turn when kids were able to touch a large tortoise following bilingual story time at the Woodland Park Zoo’s Zoomazium. Creature Feature is a fun program in which zoo visitors hear a story and then can meet the animal protagonist in person! Zoo staff are now making an intentional effort to make programs culturally relevant for more communities to feel comfortable and able to engage at the zoo. This was only the second time the Creature Feature story time was offered in Spanish and English and it was a hit.

Taking turns meeting the turtle

Relationships First

Woodland Park Zoo staff reached out Best Starts for Kids and Vroom staff to collaborate on a learning event for Latinx families. Vroom is a nationally recognized tool that turns brain building science into simple, easy to use tips that parents and caregivers can incorporate into their everyday lives. Best Starts supports a Vroom Community Connector in partnership with Centro Rendu of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The Latinx Community Connector helps make Vroom more accessible for Spanish speaking families. Most importantly, the Community Connector is part of the Latinx community and has trusted relationships with families allowing them to gather meaningful feedback on how best to adapt Vroom in a relatable way.

Gathered around for storytime

Collaborative Partnerships

We are very excited about this collaboration between Vroom and Woodland Park Zoo!  Vroom’s Brain Building Basics do a fantastic job of explaining the neuroscience and helping families and caregivers support healthy brain development every day.  When combined with Woodland Park Zoo’s nature play and nature-based STEAM learning, we together set our communities up to produce the conservation leaders of the future.

Sheri Hill, Senior Manager Early Childhood Programs, Woodland Park Zoo

Best Starts for Kids is grounded in relationships and partnerships are key to our approach. So it’s no surprise that our team loved being approached with this fun partnership idea!

This opportunity for collaboration with the Woodland Park Zoo is phenomenal. Not only did we work together for Zoomazium staff to understand and utilize Vroom, we were able to support a community that does not typically attend the Zoo. The day was a learning opportunity and success for how we can move forward in partnership. Looking forward!

Devon Love, Vroom Integration and Help Me Grow Systems Manager, Public Health – Seattle & King County

Claudia is the Vroom Latinx Community Connector. She extended the invitation to families she works with and about 10 Spanish speaking families attended.

The families had so much fun at the zoo and I heard such wonderful things from them afterwards! It was a beautiful day in an amazing learning environment.

Claudia, Vroom Latinx Community Connector

Spanish speaking zoo staff were on hand to interact with the kids as they explored play structures, learned about animals and had fun with Vroom activities.

It’s always fun to visit the zoo, and for our Vroom partner families, it was an especially welcoming day to be invited to participate in Spanish.

Thank you to our zoo partners!

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