This is one of a series of blogs featuring first-person accounts from early educators across Massachusetts.
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My name is Jennie Antunes, and I have worked in the early education field for 30 years. This past October marked my 29th year with NorthStar Learning Centers in New Bedford, Mass. I am presently a lead teacher in one of our toddler/preschool classrooms. I also have the responsibility of acting as designated administrator when the center director is out of the building.
Through the help of a scholarship program, I earned my bachelor’s degree in 2014. Even though I had been doing this work for so long, there was so much more I wanted to learn to strengthen my teaching. I take great pride in my accomplishments, proving to myself that I could work full time as well as attend school full time.
However, early educators’ pay continues to be a challenge. The goal to have teachers become better educated to better serve children and their families is fantastic and important. Guiding the development and learning of young minds is incredibly difficult and highly skilled work. Continue Reading »
Posted in Early educators, Family engagement, Higher Education, Pre-kindergarten, Professional development & preparation | Tagged #earlyed, #earlyeducators | 1 Comment »
Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children
Washington, D.C, is the “pre-K capital,” “where nearly all 4-year-olds (and most 3-year-olds!) go to school,” according to the online news site LA School Report.
Why does a California-based publication care about Washington, D.C? Because Los Angeles is about to make its own investment in early education.
What makes D.C. a pre-K capital?
“Spurred by a landmark 2008 law, the District enrolls 85 percent or more of its four-year-olds (depending on who’s counting) and an even more remarkable 60-plus percent of three-year-olds.”
So on a Wednesday morning at “the Lincoln Park campus of AppleTree Early Learning, a network of pre-K charter schools,” young students are “nearing the end of a three-week unit on paleontology and archeology.” Continue Reading »
Posted in Curriculum, Funding, National, Pre-K to 3, Pre-kindergarten, Reading proficiency, Research, Science & math | Tagged #earlyed | Leave a Comment »
Photo: Mayor Jim Kenney “At Smart Center pre-K today, it turned out my glasses weren’t quite the perfect fit…” Source: Mayor Kenney’s Facebook page
Philadelphia has a new first: the city is using a tax on soda to support an expansion of early education and other public programs.
Last month, “The City Council gave final approval to a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on sugary and diet beverages,” according to the local ABC television station.
“Only Berkeley, California, had a similar law. Soda tax proposals have failed in more than 30 cities and states in recent years. Such plans are typically criticized as disproportionately affecting the poor, who are more likely to consume sugary drinks.
“But Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney sold the council on the idea with a plan to spend most of the estimated $90 million in new tax revenue next year to pay for prekindergarten, community schools and recreation centers. Kenney says the tax will generate $386 million over 5 years.” Continue Reading »
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“Opportunity starts at the beginning of each and every child’s life. And while income inequality and stagnant wages have left millions of families struggling, common-sense policies like preschool and high-quality affordable child care ensure that regardless of a child’s zip code or life circumstances, every child gets a fair shot at life.
“Each year we don’t institute universal preschool or a national child care solution, our children, our families, our economy and our future lose out.”
“The Kids Are Still Not Alright: It’s time for the United States to expand early childhood education programs,” by Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education, U.S. News and World Report, July 21, 2016
Posted in Business and economy, National, Pre-kindergarten, Quotes | Tagged #earlyed #preschool | Leave a Comment »
“How can we use this? How can we get this in the hands of parents, especially when children are little?”
That’s the question education officials in Burlington, Mass., asked about the book “Make Time for Reading,” — by author and early literacy expert Jean Ciborowski Fahey — in a news story produced by local television station BCAT TV. The story features interviews with Burlington School Committee member Kristin Russo and Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce president Rick Parker.
This book was chosen for its unique qualities and design. The pages alternate. The left hand-pages have tips for parents and caregivers about reading to children. And the right-hand pages feature a story that adults can read to children.
The Burlington School Committee is teaming up with the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce to distribute the books to families, according to Superintendent of Schools Eric Conti. Parents of new babies will receive the book while at the hospital or in the mail. So far, roughly 1,000 copies have been given to families. The goal is to distribute a total of 1,500.
It’s a great fusion of books, adults, children, and community action around early literacy.
Posted in Infants and toddlers, Literacy, Pre-kindergarten, Reading proficiency | Tagged #earlyliteracy | Leave a Comment »