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Archive for the ‘National’ Category

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

 

What would make the transition from pre-K to kindergarten easier?

Four states are trying to find out, according to a recent report from New America called, “Connecting the Steps: State Strategies to Ease the Transition from Pre-K to Kindergarten.”

The path from pre-K to kindergarten can be “fraught with stress and uncertainty for many children and their parents,” New America says in a policy paper. Kindergarten’s days are often longer, and the curriculum can focus more on academics.

“This transition is significant for parents as well. Contact with teachers is often more formalized and less frequent than in a pre-K classroom. There is often less emphasis on parent-teacher and parent-parent contact than before. This can leave parents feeling out of the loop… and can lead to less parental involvement in the classroom.”

While schools and districts have to ease the transition, “states can actively encourage intentional, local efforts to smooth transitions to kindergarten.”

To show what states can do, (more…)

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Screenshot: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Report

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is making the business case for high-quality early education.

“… America is facing an unprecedented workforce crisis: a large and growing shortage of skilled workers,” the foundation says in a newly released report – “Workforce of Today, Workforce of Tomorrow: The Business Case for High-Quality Childcare.”

“From Wall Street to Main Street, the world of work is changing—and our strategies for developing tomorrow’s workforce must change with it,” the report says.

Katharine B. Stevens, a senior fellow with the American Enterprise Institute who wrote the report, says in a statement, “Achievement gaps are emerging much earlier than we previously understood. The costs of children arriving in kindergarten not ready to learn are enormously high.” (more…)

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Screenshot of the Alliance’s website

 

If you’re an early education advocate and you spend a lot of time “making the case” for high-quality preschool experiences, the Alliance for Early Success wants to help you make that case — and make it airtight.

The alliance unites “state, national, and funding partners” whose goal is to “advance state policies that lead to improved health, learning, and economic outcomes for young children, starting at birth and continuing through age eight.” 

To help advocates, the Alliance has a resource page on its website with an olive-green tab marked “Making the Case.”

Click on the olive-green arrow, and you’ll find a database full of advocacy resources, including websites, fact sheets, and infographics as well as #bthru8 images that can be posted on Twitter. (more…)

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Congratulations to Kansas City for winning an “All-America City” award for its “Turn the Page KC” reading program.

The Kansas City Star reports:

“‘We whooped and hollered,’ said Turn the Page KC Executive Director Mike English, describing the moment at the award ceremony in Denver on Friday when Kansas City was the first winner named.”

“The number of agencies collaborating in the effort are numerous, including school districts and charter schools, the Kansas City and Mid-Continent public libraries, Lead to Read, the United WayLiteracy Lab, the Local Investment Commission and others that marshaled hundreds of professionals and volunteers to the cause,” the Star adds.

And when we asked Mike about the award, he added, “The All-America City Award not only validates that our 3rd grade reading initiative is on the right track, but also provides fresh energy and excitement to our cause.”

“‘We applaud the big-tent coalitions in these award-winning communities,’ Ralph Smith, the managing director of the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, said in a written statement. ‘They put a stake in the ground around third-grade reading and made some big bets to improve the odds for early school success,’” the Star notes.  (more…)

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Screenshot from the Annie E. Casey Foundation website

KIDS COUNT, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has released its annual Data Book. It’s a comprehensive look at children’s lives that’s meant to urge “policymakers not to back away from targeted investments that help U.S. children become healthier, more likely to complete high school and better positioned to contribute to the nation’s economy as adults.”

The Data Book has a mix of good and bad news: progress in some areas and lapses in others.

“The U.S. continues to have one of the highest child poverty rates among all developed countries,” Laura Speer, associate director of policy reform and advocacy for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, said in a press release. “This unfairly burdens our young people and the nation, costing an estimated $500 billion a year in reduced economic opportunities and increased health and criminal justice-related costs.” (more…)

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Eva’s parents are “in quite a bind: having to choose between leaving baby Eva in the care of others at this young age or losing job security during this crucial family transition. They also worry about even finding child care that they can afford. Eva’s parents are not alone. Many parents in our nation are feeling these pressures.”

“Getting it Right for our Babies,” The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, the University of California, Berkeley, June 6, 2017

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) has announced its 2017 All-America City Award Finalists, and tomorrow it will announce the winners at an event in Denver, Colo.

“Each year, the All-America City Award, America’s oldest and most prestigious community recognition, is given to communities that exemplify outstanding civic accomplishments,” CGLR’s website says. “In 2017, NCL and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading will recognize communities that have made measurable progress for low-income children on the key drivers of early reading success.”

We’re proud to note that two of this year’s finalists are Springfield and Worcester.

“Springfield has been recognized as a Community Pacesetter for making measurable progress in school attendance, summer learning and overall grade-level reading for children from low-income families,” according to a press release. (more…)

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