Tagged “Early Childhood Education”

Early Childhood Program Eases Students into the School Environment

Washington Drive Primary School, Centerport, N.Y.
 

Washington Drive Primary School, located in the New York Harborfield Central School District, fosters self-reliance and positive attitudes toward school and learning in students. The early education program, specifically for 5- to 8-year-olds, provides a wide variety of developmentally appropriate opportunities in which children create, explore, discover, and learn. Throughout the program, children acquire thinking and problem-solving skills, which staff members use to nurture the student's individual personalities and specific learning characteristics. Ongoing staff development is an essential component of the program.
 

South Carolina School Takes Responsibility for Academics and Personal Behavior

Bell’s Crossing Elementary School, Simpsonville, S.C.

 

Rarely does one find a school, particularly a large elementary school, so student-focused. Beginning in kindergarten, students are taught to be responsible for themselves, set academic and personal goals, track their own progress, and be prepared to explain the data to anyone who asks. Every child has a data notebook in which both academic and behavioral statistics are kept and updated on a regular basis. Stakeholders selected the work of Steven Covey to provide more “focus on student leadership and developing essential skills that are needed in the workplace of tomorrow,” according to principal Barbara Barlow. Today, more than 10 leadership clubs are provided for students in grades 3–5, while younger students participate in activities with their grade-level peers.
 

Rural School Teaches Value of Compassion, Friendship, Respect, and Self-Discipline

Berkeley Elementary School, Moncks Corner, S.C.

 

This rural Title I school serves 670 students from four-year-old preschool through second grade. For students with diverse ethnicities (52 percent minority) and a wide socioeconomic range, Berkeley Elementary School strives to provide a character education program that teaches the values of acceptance, compassion, friendship, respect, and self-discipline. They want their students to be able to get along and work together in groups that reflect the diversity that exists in society today. The school realizes that a child that cares for all humanity will reach his or her full potential. Learning is more than reading and math. It is about educating the whole child.
 

A Common Message and Sense of Belonging

Renfro Elementary School, Collinsville, Ill.

Renfro Elementary School special education teacher Mary Anne Hempsted observes, "This school is the most welcoming place that I have ever worked. People respond to any need." Renfro's teachers and students connect through class meetings and the cross-grade level "families." Each family creates their own silent family greeting that they use whenever they encounter a "family member" in the halls. Named a 2011 National School of Character by whole child partner the Character Education Partnership, Renfro defines character to include thinking, feeling, and doing and takes a very comprehensive, intentional, proactive approach to character education. Carrie White, parent of a second grader and a kindergartner, praises the common language used at the school, which carries into the home, and observes that the words mean the same at school and at home. Entire classrooms of students are recognized for showing good character, not individuals. Third-grade teacher Carolyn Demaree says, "Every adult cares for the students in this school and holds them accountable."

Partnerships Help Support Diverse Set of Community-Based Services

Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties, Vt.

Exceptional community-based services for youth have emerged in Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union in Vermont, whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People winner, thanks to its cultivation of partnerships.

With connections from regional planning commissions to indigenous organizations to local hospitals, the community has been able to provide strong programs for youth across a spectrum of ages. The Early Childhood Program provides screening services for children before entering preschool, and the Circle of Courage program helps children gain an awareness, understanding, and appreciation for the local Native American Abenaki culture.

Because of its dedicated work to build systems of care for children with special needs, the region received the Communities Can! Award by the Federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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