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Archive for the ‘Strategies for Children’ Category

A series featuring communities that have a plan to expand preschool.

Photo: Courtesy of Stephanie Adornetto

 

In Pittsfield, we know how important early education is. Children who don’t get a strong start can’t read proficiently by third grade. In our city, 2017 MCAS data shows that only 44 percent of third graders are proficient in English and only 44 percent are proficient in math. We want to see these numbers improve because, to put it bluntly, children who struggle to read may also struggle to succeed.

Because helping children takes a team approach, in 2012, the Berkshire United Way formed Pittsfield Promise, a coalition focused on ensuring that our third-graders can read proficiently. To achieve this goal, members of the coalition work closely with early childhood programs, social service and health providers, businesses, and community members.

In 2016, Pittsfield was awarded a preschool expansion grant. We are using this funding to create a collaboration between the Pittsfield Public Schools and two local center-based early childhood programs.

In this mixed-delivery model, the Pittsfield Public Schools is the lead partner and fiduciary agent. (more…)

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Amy and Lisa Crowley

Amy O’Leary, director of Strategies for Children’s Early Education for All Campaign, is always on the go.

Last month, Amy was at a breakfast hosted by Horizons for Homeless children where Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children’s Zone, was the speaker. She was also at Jumpstart’s Read for the Record at the Boston Public Library.

But the past part of the day was running into two former students from Amy’s classes at Cambridge College and Wheelock College. Amy teaches Advocacy, Policy and Leadership at both institutions.

The students: (more…)

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Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

 

It’s #GivingTuesday, and we are reaching out to our loyal base of blog readers, advocates, and collaborators to ask for your support.

Why give?

Here are five reasons.

1. Information – EEA Update, our bi-monthly newsletter, captures the latest news and policy updates in early education and care. View our newsletter archive here. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook too!

2. Advocacy – Who has time to keep track of all the early education bills, line items, amendments, vetoes, and advocacy opportunities? Well, we do actually.

3. Blog – Our Eye on Early Education blog is one-of-a-kind, and reporter Alyssa Haywoode covers all the topics you care about along the birth-to-grade-three continuum on the local, state, and federal levels.

4. Data – We’ve got you covered, with Fast Facts, community profiles, and all the statistics about the importance of ensuring high-quality early education for children in Massachusetts.

5. Elections – All the information candidates and voters need to know during election season and beyond.

Plus, we have a 16-year track record of policy wins for high-quality early education in Massachusetts.

Please make your tax-deductible donation today to support our work at Strategies for Children.

We are grateful for your support. Thank you.

Team SFC

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Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

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“My name is Shakurah. I’m a mom of three,” Shakurah Hairston said, standing on stage at the Horizons for Homeless Children’s 19th Annual Women’s Breakfast.

Then the tears came.

“In 2013, I become homeless due to domestic violence. I finally accepted the fact that I was in a dangerous relationship, and once I did, I decided to flee.” She stayed with a relative, which meant eight people in a two-bedroom apartment. Since then she has stayed in motels, shelters, and a hospital.

Fortunately, she also took her youngest son to Horizons for Homeless Children. Horizons helps homeless families by providing world-class early education programs. (more…)

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House Speaker Robert DeLeo. Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

As the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers slug it out in the World Series, playing 10 innings for more than five hours in Game 5, House Speaker Robert DeLeo is once again going to bat for children – using baseball to make the case for early literacy.

DeLeo was speaking at Raising a Reader Massachusetts’ third annual Leadership in Literacy Award Breakfast where he was being honored as the Legislator of the Year.

“Some of you may know that I’m a big baseball fan,” DeLeo said at the breakfast. “So, I was struck by a Strategies for Children report that equated the experience of watching a game at Fenway Park with learning to read.”

That report is “Turning the Page: Refocusing Massachusetts for Reading Success,” written by Nonie Lesaux, a Harvard Graduate School of Education professor. It’s on page two that the the report tells the story of two children at Fenway Park.

DeLeo explained it this way:

“The report followed the experiences of two 10 year olds at Fenway Park: one child whose father exposed her to baseball at an early age, explained the rules of the game to her, and sparked her love for the sport. She knows when to cheer, and when to boo.  (more…)

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Photo: Screenshot of GEEARS report cover.

 

What does it mean to be school ready?

Different stakeholders have different answers – and that can lead to fractured efforts to help young children.

Georgia, however, has come up with a framework for school readiness that should help unite the actions of families, schools, and communities.

“The framework articulates not only the central components of school readiness but also the roles various stakeholders play in promoting it.”

This is an important step forward because many states have struggled to define school readiness.

To develop the framework, the nonprofit organization GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students worked with state leaders to form a committee that solicited feedback from experts and from stakeholders across the state.  (more…)

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