We invite you to PLAY YOUR PART in strengthening families through education, connection, play, and partnership.
In Summer of 2020, Families First Learning Lab moved into the second floor of the Missoula Public Library. This new home features a Dramatic Play Exhibit, a Family Education Classroom and Resource Center, a dynamic Water Room, and private Family Counseling and Consultation Rooms. All services will be free or offered with a reduced fee option. This space welcomes ALL families and provides them with the resources and support needed to be strong and resilient- while also having fun learning and playing together!
In our dramatic play exhibit, kids can design a Montana mountain scene on a large activity board made of movable wooden art pieces. Our exhibit will have a "green room" mirror where kids can choose their favorite costume and prepare for their stage debut. With rotating monthly themes, children can use their imagination to explore outer space, run through a rainbow forest, and discover cultures around the world.
The Family Education classroom invites parents to gain knowledge and skills, create systems of support, and take comfort in knowing they are not alone on their parenting journey. A variety of workshops, multi-session series including Circle of Security and Children in Between, and Connection Cafes are hosted in this space. The Family Resource Nook houses books and information on a variety of family topics ensuring parents are able to get questions answered and connected with their needed services. Our three Private Consultation Rooms allow families to access 1:1 counseling support during challenging times. With a maximum of four sessions, this program gives families immediate support and connection to resources in times of need. We have a safe meeting space and offer flexible hours that are convenient for families. Services will be offered based on a reduced fee model.
In our Water Room, Missoula Public Library, spectrUM, and Families First Learning Lab feature a Water Learning Ecosystem. Located on the Children's Floor of the library, the water learning ecosystem features a place-based water table exhibit allowing visitors to visualize and interact with the integrated systems of the Clark Fork watershed. The exhibit:
Sparks a sense of wonder and appreciation of our river ecosystem;
Develops visitors’ understanding of a river and its floodplain;
Inspires deeper connection with the Clark Fork River;
Connects with visitors’ everyday experiences with the river; and
Makes connections with science careers related to water and ecosystems science.