Back To School With The ConneCTKids Website

September 2, 2010

As every teacher knows, learning can be fun. Now that the school year has begun, one excellent way to seek out some educational fun is to check out the state’s website for children at www.kids.ct.gov. As my two young children and I have discovered, this website has something for everyone – children researching facts about Connecticut, teachers seeking new ways to engage their students, and parents looking for interesting age-appropriate websites for their sons and daughters.

Even young children who can read and have learned how to use a computer mouse will find it easy to navigate the site. Of course, depending on the age of the child, understanding some of the information presented will require the assistance of a parent or teacher.

The design of the front page invites children to click on oak leaf shaped links leading them to information about Connecticut history, state government, and state symbols, including a special page about the Charter Oak. One link leads to puzzles and games. Another one labeled “more kid stuff” leads to other Connecticut websites of interest to children and their parents – along with links to websites for children that are sponsored by other states.

One link under “more kid stuff” leads children and parents to “cool websites” that are “fun, educational, safe and commercial-free”. Included is a site for those interested in learning how to play chess, and another one sponsored by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for those interested in designing and building a virtual bridge – and perhaps even competing in the 2011 West Point Bridge Design Contest for middle school, junior high and high school students.

As the various web pages and links on the ConneCTKids website are updated at various times, it is a good idea to check back often for the latest information and new offerings.

Meanwhile, ConneCTKids website features a link that will be of special interest to teachers, parents and children this year: Connecticut’s 375th Anniversary website. This site includes a listing of special events being held around the state during this 2010 anniversary year, links to sites of special interest to children, and other features that parents and teachers might want to explore with their children and students.

Also, parents and caregivers might want to check out another featured link on the ConneCTKids website – www.CTparenting.com, which is operated by the state Department of Children and Families. This website provides information and links of special interest to parents and caregivers, to young children and to teens. Also, there is a tab for Spanish-speaking visitors to this website.

It is my hope that all of you – parents, teachers and children – have a safe, fun, and educational school year. I hope you enjoy checking out the ConneCTKids website and following the links provided. As always, I welcome the opportunity to discuss the many issues that are important to our state. I can be reached at my legislative office in Hartford at 1-800-842-1421, or via e-mail to [email protected]