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Archive for the ‘Strategies for Children’ Category

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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Screenshot of New America’s report.

 

What does high-quality pre-K look like?

It depends on where you look, according to a new report from the think tank New America.

“Since publicly funded pre-K programs are guided by varying intents, regulations, and funding approaches, there is little continuity in early learning. There are uneven standards for program quality, variable hours of coverage, incongruent eligibility requirements, and competing demands for accountability.”

Despite this “uneven” practice, the research does provide clear answers of what quality looks like.

To get a sharp picture of quality, New America’s report — “Indispensable Policies & Practices for High-Quality Pre-K: Research & Pre-K Standards Review” — “synthesizes recent meta-analyses and other studies” and “analyzes existing pre-K quality standards.”

Six themes emerged from this process: (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Strategies for Children has updated its statewide kindergarten maps and charts. The latest data show 95 percent of kindergarten students enrolled in full-day programs, up from only 29 percent in 2000, and continuing the long-term trend towards full-day.

This school year, 56 districts charge tuition for full-day kindergarten, down from 77 in 2009-2010 school year.

However not all kindergarten trends are positive. A new survey by Strategies for Children shows that program quality may be declining for districts that previously received Kindergarten Quality grants from the state.

Kindergarten grants were great for Massachusetts. School districts used the funds to plan growth and expand high-quality programs, which helped the state achieve near-universal full-day kindergarten. But in fiscal year 2017, kindergarten grants were cut from the state budget(more…)

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