Early Childhood and Elementary Services
Early Child and Elementary Services supports child care programs, preschools, elementary schools and Community Early Childhood Councils in strengthening the services they offer to children and families. Promise Neighborhood provides coaching and classroom interventions that are strengthening the early childhood community in the neighborhood. In the elementary schools, academic coaches tutor students who need extra help to achieve their best.
Through collaboration with other Promise Neighborhood initiatives, this staff strives for these results:
- Children enter kindergarten ready to learn
- Students are proficient in core academic subjects
- Students are healthy
- Students live in stable communities
- Students have access to 21st century learning tools
Summer is the time to blossom
If a child can identify only one letter of the alphabet, he or she isn’t ready for kindergarten. Jennifer Bryant, Owsley County Early Childhood Specialist, discovered this was true of one of her students so she knew it was time for special summer intervention. Knowledge of the alphabet is one sign that a child may be ready for kindergarten.
At the end of the school year, all three Promise Neighborhood Early Childhood Specialists assessed the learning of their preschool students. Bryant identified students exiting preschool who were just short of being ready for kindergarten then planned home visits to work with them during the summer. “I knew the students well from many months of working in the classroom with them. I knew their strengths and weaknesses. What I didn’t know is how much the students could learn from one or two visits a week,” Jennifer says.
For the student who couldn’t recognize letters, Bryant demonstrated how to use a letter chart to identify three letters of the alphabet. At the beginning of her next visit with the child, Bryant said she couldn’t believe what she found—the student identified all three letters in upper and lower case. “She also used the technique I had shown her to identify the letters we would be working on that day without any assistance from me. She has continued to amaze me with how much she has learned over these short few weeks,” Bryant says.
Thanks to early intervention, this student will begin kindergarten on a level playing field with her classmates.