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Jul 23, 2020 7:34:21 AM

Jurassic July in Hampton Roads


Operation Little Learners hosted a dino-rific good time on July 17 at Mount Trashmore Park in Virginia Beach. Active duty military families were able to register for this outdoor event that included a dino-dig, dinosaur egg hunt, dino jumps and a few super fun craft projects. Little Learners, and their siblings, had a blast, despite the heat! Registration for the event was open to all active duty dependents between the ages of eighteen months and five years living in Hampton Roads. Siblings are always welcome during monthly Craft & Conversation events. 


A program created by the Armed Services YMCA, Operation Little Learners (OLL) provides a supportive environment for both parents and children to learn, connect and grow. This parent-and-me preschool readiness program is open to all active duty military dependents ages eighteen months to five years. In addition to twice weekly classes, program participants are invited to monthly field trips and Craft & Conversation activities. Since March, our regular weekly programs have moved into our virtual classroom. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, participants receive an email invitation to watch a video and follow along with crafts and activities. This dino-fabulous event was our first Craft & Conversation event since our in-person programming paused in March.


Our Little Learners have enjoyed keeping up with their lessons and following along at home, but they miss seeing their friends. OLL Program Manager Tessa Davis has been hard at work planning and creating field trips and Craft & Conversation activities that allow for social distancing and group interaction in the safest way possible. "I'm so glad we've been able to provide consistency in our program by offering this full virtual summer session for our kiddos. I'm also really glad we have so many amazing locations available to us in Hampton Roads to get together and stay safe. These kiddos had so much fun making their dinosaur hats and digging for fossils. Military kids deal with change and uncertainty all the time. This program is such a blessing, and we know how important it is to continue to provide some small amount of predictability inside all of this uncertainty."

We understand the need for community and connection, now more than ever. In addition to opportunities for cognitive growth and motor development provided in our virtual classroom, the OLL team is hosting more events throughout the summer and fall to provide safe opportunities for connection. Our virtual Summer Session runs through September 3, and you can join in at any time. The program is self-paced, but you must register to receive weekly links. You can get more information on everything Operation Little Learners here.

Posted July 23, 2020


The Armed Services YMCA is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves currently serving military members and their families. In 2019, we engaged more than 250,000 participants and delivered more than 1.3 million points of service to junior enlisted Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen and family members at 200 service centers in 18 states. Whether providing respite child care for parents in need, summer camps for kids, or assisting with emergency needs, the Armed Services YMCA is a nonprofit with a mission: Strengthening Our Military Family®. Visit our website to see how you can join us in supporting military families.


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