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The Penn Children's Center draws upon the rich resources of both University and the community to enrich our curriculum through a variety of special programs. These have included offering foreign language instruction, field trips, cultural programming and developmental assessments. Examples of two current offerings are provided below. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate throughout the University community. This is accomplished by hosting research studies with the Graduate School of Education, Annenberg School of Communication and Wharton School.

Examples of two of our current offerings are provided below.

The Language Lab

The Language Development Lab at the University of Pennsylvania has been collaborating with PCC to study the difficult question of how children learn to comprehend speech and link what they hear to the world around them. They conduct studies addressing many aspects of this question, from how children learn the meanings of words to how they learn to understand these meanings when combined together in sentences. The lab’s studies are designed as child-friendly games involving language, where the child must guess the meaning of made-up words after watching videos, or must act out a task with toys after hearing spoken descriptions of pictures or videos. Often the lab uses a special eye tracking device to record children’s eye movements as they watch videos. From this, we get a record of what children think particular words are referring to as they hear each utterance unfold over time. The children at PCC find participating in the studies great fun, and the lab is thrilled to have a wonderful and accommodating place nearby to conduct their research.

Nurse Practitioners

PCC hosts a clinical educational program with the University of Pennsylvania Pediatric Nurse Practitioner students. With parent consent, the nursing students work with children from September through December, providing developmental and vision screening. At the conclusion of the program, parents are provided a full report on their child, including their height and weight.