PITTSFIELD >> "In Kindergarten," an activity book published last year by the Berkshire Museum, earned a nod at the 2015 New England Museum Association Publication Awards Competition. The winning publications were exhibited at the annual NEMA conference held over the weekend in Portland, Maine. "In Kindergarten" won "Honorable Mention" in the "Books" category. The competition included 199 publications from 60 museums across New England entered in 10 categories.
A product of the Berkshire Museum's WeeMuse program focusing on early childhood education, "In Kindergarten," was designed to help families prepare their children for the transition to kindergarten. Funded in part by Berkshire Bank, it's been distributed free to every child registered to enter kindergarten in Berkshire County in 2014 and 2015.
The book was created by Craig Langlois, Berkshire Museum's director of education and public programs, in partnership with a team of community advisors. Core team members included Sue Doucette, former early childhood coordinator for Pittsfield Public Schools, and Melissa Zepka, Family Resource Center literacy specialist for Child Care of the Berkshires Inc. The book was designed and illustrated by Amanda (Bettis) Hill, Kimberly Donoughe and Deirdre Tenero of Studio Two in Lenox.
"In Kindergarten" is fun and educational at the same time. The book includes coloring pages, tracing pages, and two pages of stickers — all designed to give children and their caregivers tools to help children be aware of and comfortable about the kindergarten classroom. The book also includes checklists for children and parents, a calendar of activities that will help children prepare for entering school, and a list of suggested books and authors appropriate for kindergarten-age youngsters.