Submitted by guest blogger: Ann Montgomery, Community Relations Coordinator, email@example.com
It’s been about a month since Uplift’s pre-kindergarten pilot first launched for the 2014-2015 school year. Two pre-k classrooms opened in August at Uplift Hampton Preparatory’s new Primary building, and the school year is already off to a great start! The program is operated by ChildCareGroup (CCG) and taught by CCG-trained teachers, who designed the program to prepare preschoolers for a smooth and successful transition to kindergarten. Through the high-quality research-based curriculum, pre-k students are introduced to key content areas to promote skills in oral language, literacy, science, math and social emotional development.
Though the program is operated by CCG, the students belong to the Uplift network and will continue on as Uplift Hampton students in grades K-12.
“The pre-k program is the foundation to growing scholars and preparing well-prepared kindergartners,” said Uplift Hampton Primary Director Suzanne Weathers. “These scholars will be able to advance in learning because of the structure and foundation they have received through this program.”
The pilot represents an excellent example of collaboration within the educational sector, wherein each partner is able to focus on what they do best. Knowing that CCG is an expert in its field of early childhood education, Uplift contracts them as a vendor in charge of all instructional matters for pre-k.
Evident in the increasing emphasis on pre-k, leaders in education across the country have realized how important early childhood is for brain development. According to research, “Brain development does not stop after early childhood, but it is the foundation upon which the brain continues developing. Early childhood is the time to build either a strong and supportive, or fragile and unreliable foundation.” Particularly in terms of literacy, the number of words that children hear in their formative years will impact their entire academic and professional life; more than any other time of life, these early years dramatically impact a child’s cognitive skills.
ChildCareGroup’s Vice President Wendy Ogren agrees. “Research shows that children who start school at a level behind their peers rarely catch up. But when intervention occurs early, we can help them,” she said. “The Uplift-ChildCareGroup partnership allows us to prepare children to enter kindergarten ready to learn and succeed in school and in life.”