Unifying our approach to early childhood education: ‘3-Cheers for Pre-K’
Research shows that investing in quality learning programs is the most effective way to promote student success. Children who attend quality early childhood education programs perform better in school, are more likely to graduate from high school and less likely to be placed in special education. The impact is greatest for children growing up in poverty.
In partnership with Saint Louis Public Schools, we have committed to funding a new curriculum resource called ‘3-Cheers for Pre-K.’ Unifying our early childhood education approach will significantly impact our youngest learners. We are hopeful this tool will aid in the facilitation of teaching and learning for the 1900+ our three- and four-year-olds in SLPS. To ensure successful implementation of this resource, SLPS Foundation is investing in a group of ECE teacher leaders to align the resource to state standards, provide professional development to all ECE teachers, and identify additional needs related to a successful resource rollout.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children promotes high-quality learning by connecting practice, policy, and research. One of their program standards is ‘curriculum.’ They recommend that early childhood curriculum addresses five areas: social, emotional, physical, language and cognitive. Students will be provided opportunities to learn and play for all aspects of child development. Purposeful play and skills-based experiences have a positive impact on child progress and outcomes. The new curriculum will also offer an opportunity for students to engage in developmentally appropriate learning experiences. It is necessary for students to receive developmentally appropriate content to contribute to their later development in that domain (Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center, 2017).
The SLPS Foundation is committed to raising $350,000 to support the adoption of the new early childhood curriculum resource and the continued work of our teacher leader group that will lead their peers in successful implementation. Our goal is to ensure that the curriculum is implemented in partnership with expert teachers. Saint Louis Public Schools is also investing in aligned manipulatives to ensure hands-on, project-based implementation.