United Way MV Kicks Off Annual Days of Action

Creating “Born Learning” Trails for early childhood education and development in four local parks

ONEIDA & HERKIMER COUNTIES, N.Y. – United Way of the Mohawk Valley (United Way MV) will be joined by local companies and volunteers this week to install four additional “Born Learning” Trails at parks spanning Oneida and Herkimer counties.
“Born Learning” Trails are a series of 6 interactive signs that offer fun, dynamic learning activities for young children and their families. The signs encourage early childhood education and learning, supporting one of United Way MV’s core focus areas.

Based on the latest early childhood research and approved by national early learning experts, United Way’s “Born Learning” Trails are designed to help adults interact with children to boost language and literacy development and to help caregivers understand how to best support early learning in outdoor everyday moments.
“Research says five years of education takes place before children ever enter kindergarten,” stated Erin Gutierrez Matt, CEO of United Way MV. “Installing “Born Learning” Trails in our community is a great outlet to help boost school readiness – so they can be successful. The trail signs create valuable community resources with innovative and fun tools for early childhood learning.”
United Way MV will be installing the four new “Born Learning” Trails in Marcy, Ilion, Rome, and Utica. The first location is at the Marcy Town Park, sponsored by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, United Way MV’s 100th Anniversary sponsor.
“We are proud to partner with United Way of the Mohawk Valley to bring another ‘Born Learning’ Trail to our area,” said Eve Van de Wal, Excellus BCBS Utica regional president. “This early education initiative supports our shared mission of improving the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve.”
Each trail installation is possible thanks to the coordination of United Way MV, their sponsors, and dozens of volunteers throughout the four days in June. Community members can enjoy the four “Born Learning” Trails at the following locations:

  • Marcy Town Park in Marcy, sponsored by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
  • South 5th Ave Park in Ilion, sponsored by Berkshire Bank
  • Steven’s Field in Rome, sponsored by First Source FCU
  • Parkway Center Playground in Utica, sponsored by MVCC Professional Association

These four trails will join six already existing trails installed by United Way MV in 2020 and 2021 at Pinti Field in Rome, Guyer Field in Rome, Quinn Park in Utica, Kemble Park in Utica, Van Der Linde Park in Sylvan Beach, and Dodgeville Park and Playground. For the full list of locations for United Way “Born Learning” trails visit unitedwaymv.org/dayofaction.
United Way of the Mohawk Valley’s partnership with local businesses made the project possible. Stone Age Landscaping dug the needed holes to install the signs, with equipment donated by McQuade and Bannigan, while Jay-K Lumber is donating wood and cement needed for the installation.

Day of Action Background
Each year United Way of the Mohawk Valley works with local organizations on volunteer projects in the region. In previous years, meals were packaged and donated to local food pantries, activity trails were painted on sidewalks, and murals were painted in local parks that were graffiti-covered – all throughout the area.

About United Way of the Mohawk Valley
Since 1921, United Way of the Mohawk Valley (United Way MV) has been a human service leader helping thousands of local individuals and families by bringing people and organizations together to solve our community’s challenges. As one of the area’s top funders, dozens of programs rely on United Way MV funding each year.
United Way MV is a leader in innovation through projects and initiatives addressing crucial community issues in the impact areas of health, education, and financial stability. For information about United Way of the Mohawk Valley, to donate or to get involved visit www.unitedwaymv.org, or call 315.733.4691