An international traveling exhibit designed for educators, parents and others interested in early childhood education and literacy is opening later this month in the Central Library children’s section.

The Wonder of Learning, coordinated by Madison Public Library Youth Services staff in partnership with Preschool of the Arts and a coalition of early childhood education professionals from organizations throughout Wisconsin, will open January 25 in the Central Library children’s section and also at Overture Center for the Arts’ Playhouse Gallery. The exhibit explores the incredible potential of learning in the early childhood years through the lens of the Reggio Emilia philosophy. It also includes hands-on play spaces and take-home kits for children ages birth to 5. The play spaces, take-home kits and limited-term project coordinator position were funded by a Madison Public Library Foundation grant.

“The foundation grant allows the library to extend The Wonder of Learning experience to young children and their families through interactive spaces where children will be able to play with and explore exhibit themes like light, for instance, and take home materials to continue learning with their families,” said Jess Hankey, who serves as Early Literacy Project Coordinator on the library’s Youth Services team.

Hankey plays the role of liaison between the library and other childhood education partners. She also is planning and coordinating the exhibit installation in collaboration with many library staff members and partners.

“Working on the exhibit seats the library at the table alongside many early childhood education leaders both local and statewide, which presents an amazing opportunity for us to grow our early learning partnerships,” she said.

The exhibit will be on display through May 1. View the take-home kit informational flyer here.