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Help support new ToyBox learning tool

The University of Winnipeg Foundation


toybox
©UWinnipeg

A new at-home learning initiative, led by UWinnipeg faculty, is supporting parents as they facilitate their children’s learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Dr. Sheri-Lynn Skwarchuk is a professor in the Faculty of Education at The University of Winnipeg and the program leader of ToyBox Solutions, an email newsletter that offers effective and fun tips for learning activities and opportunities for children at home.

Toybox emails are sent out three days a week and focus on activities related to literacy, wellness, and numeracy. All suggested activities are evidence-based and ‘parent-approved,’ as the initiative is being developed with a diverse group of Manitoba educators and parents.

Dr. Skwarchuk began working on the initiative in late 2017, with the hopes of providing parents with young children simple at-home activities to address gaps in school readiness across the province. The Toybox team fast-tracked the project in response to last month’s announcement from the provincial government that in-person classes would be suspended due to COVID-19.

Some suggested activities include games based on counting, naming numbers, and ordering numbers to develop a math vocabulary; playing a colour-specific version of “I Spy”; and making lunch with things that start with a particular letter.

The goal is to eventually produce Toybox as an app, accessible to parents on digital devices. While the app is currently in development, Skwarchuk is hopeful it will be made public by the end of 2020. 

The early launch of Toybox serves the immediate and pressing needs of our community; it has also accelerated the necessity of staffing, maintenance, and development of this project.

As the pandemic situation continues to unfold, we need your support to allow Toybox to keep up with the high educational demands of Manitoba parents and children.

Please donate here if you’d like to support the ToyBox project. Type “ToyBox” into the giving opportunity search bar. All gifts made are tax-deductible.

Thank you for your contribution! 

You can also send a cheque to:

The University of Winnipeg Foundation
901 - 491 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3B 2E4 Canada
 

*Note: Please make sure to mark your cheque for "Toy Box" and your gift will be counted towards this initiative, or call toll-free: 1-866-394-6050.

Read more: ”Manitoba education experts throw parents a lifeline to help teach youngest students at home” April 6, 2020 - Winnipeg Free Press