A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

First 5 Lex uses monthly themes to engage stuck-at-home Lexington families, preschoolers

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, First 5 Lex has redoubled efforts to support the city’s youngest learners through a series of themed videos and creative activities designed to engage children, families, preschool teachers, and daycare staff.

“Because families are home more, we’ve gone with a themed approach each month. It’s a more cohesive message we’ve been sending out,” said Eamonn FitzGerald, the Early Childhood family/community district liaison for Fayette County Public Schools. “It’s another way to reach families on a more consistent basis. We’re doubling down on the importance of ‘Read, Talk, Play’ especially since kids aren’t in school.”

FCPS launched First 5 Lex – Read, Talk, and Play from Cradle to Kindergarten – several years ago in partnership with early childhood professionals across Lexington to address concerns about school readiness. The mission is to support the whole child and the family, from quality prenatal care through early childhood, and build a foundation for lifelong learning.

In the latest campaign, January’s theme is winter. The lineup features jokes for Sunday Sillies, suggested books for Read to Me Monday, and original videos on Talk to Me Tuesday. The other days offer various activities related to Read, Talk, and Play. Families can download the resources from the First 5 Lex website.

The team also uses Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest as well as email for direct contact. “We’re seeing a lot more engagement and organic reach across our social media channels. We’re also getting pictures from families who have participated and done some of the activities,” said First 5 Lex team member Laura McDonald.

“The importance of everything we’re doing is to showcase the simplicity,” McDonald noted. “You don’t have to have hundreds of dollars of tools to make an impact on your child’s life.”

Upcoming themes
• January: Winter
• February: Friendship
• March: Book Madness
• April: April Showers (spring)
• May: Things that Grow
• June: Summer

First 5 Lex resources
• Downloadable tools
• Facebook
• Instagram
• Pinterest
• Family newsletter sign-up
• Childcare providers sign-up

Major partners in First 5 Lex:
Kentucky Educational Television (KET)
PNC Bank
Community Action Council
United Way of the Bluegrass
Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government
Family Care Center
ChildCare Aware of Kentucky
University of Kentucky’s departments of Education, Nutrition, and Pediatrics
Health First Bluegrass
Child Care Council of Kentucky
One Parent Scholar House
All About Kids Childcare & Learning Center
Lexington-Fayette County Health Department
Lexington Public Library
Fayette County Community Early Childhood Council
Early childhood advocates Jean Sabharwal and Alice Nelson
Impressions Marketing and Events

From Fayette County Public Schools

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