Schools that are ready for Kindergarten can create truly life-changing opportunities for children and ongoing support and professional development opportunities for teachers.
BETHESDA, Md. (August 26, 2016) – Last Wednesday was an important day. It was the first day of Kindergarten for a sweet little girl with wavy brown hair and big brown eyes. She has a loving, sunny disposition and is quick to offer hugs. She has a big vocabulary for her age, adores her older sister, and can’t get enough of Minions (those little yellow characters from the Despicable Me movies).
She struggles, though. Her attention span is short. She has never established a trusting relationship with an adult. She lacks the ability to empathize with others while displaying overly-affectionate physical attention to strangers. Until recently, she had no exposure to school-related content (including storybook reading), and her physical skills are more like that of a toddler. Any experienced early childhood educator who spends more than a few minutes with her can immediately recognize that she needs more.
She has lived her whole life in circumstances many of us cannot imagine. Born into a home of drug addiction and poverty, she has moved from place to place, experienced homelessness, and relied heavily on her older sister as the most reliable parental figure in her life. She has been hurt physically and emotionally by the grownups who are supposed to care for her. She has seen, heard, and endured things no child should ever know. She and her sister are known by the well-intentioned, local child protective services folks who are called upon to navigate family drama or respond to instances of abuse and neglect.
And she is my niece.
About Teaching Strategies: With ground-breaking solutions and a strong belief that a child’s first 8 years form a critical foundation for school success, Teaching Strategies has been an advocate for the early education community for nearly 30 years. Today, Teaching Strategies provides curriculum, assessment, professional development, and family connection resources to programs across the country. Its award-winning products like The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool and widely-adopted assessment solutions like GOLD® reach over 2 million children each year. To learn why thousands of early childhood programs and many states choose to partner with Teaching Strategies to help ensure children’s success in school and in life, visit teachingstrategies.com and follow us on Twitter @TeachStrategies.