Program looks to use everyday moments to get Kentucky kids kindergarten ready

10/12/2015 04:44 PM

FRANKFORT – An innovative program designed to teach care-givers of pre-school age students how to turn everyday moments into learning opportunities is being implemented in a growing number of counties across the state in an effort to get more children ready for kindergarten.

The United Way Born Learning Academy curriculum was developed by Kenton County Schools, Early Childhood faculty members from Northern Kentucky University, and United Way of Greater Cincinnati to support kindergarten readiness.

The model has been so well received it was been copyrighted by United Way Worldwide.

The academy is a six session caregiver engagement project that teaches how to turn everyday moments into learning opportunities. Classes take place one night after school each month for 6 months.

The 6 topics explored include:
*Importance of early learning
*Building relationships
*Building child’s language skills
*Nutrition and health
*How children learn
*Routines and learning on the go

Almost all parents who have taken the classes say it increased their understanding of the importance of playing, talking, reading and singing with their children. !00 percent of parents indicated that they had used the materials with a child and that they found the material helped them understand how their child could learn.

Melissa Goins, Executive Director, Division of Family Resource & Youth Services Centers, testified on Monday before the Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education about how effective the program has been and how it will be implemented to a growing number of locations across the commonwealth in an effort to get more kids kindergarten ready.

Goins says the program has one simple goal, to help parents get their kids ready academically, which, in turn, will lead to better academic results throughout their school career.

“You don’t have to memorize a big binder to get your child ready for kindergarten,” Goins said. “We provide dinner, we provide child care, we really just want to have families come and spend time together. The parents have a mini-lecture, and then they’re able to put into practice what they’ve learned.”

The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood announced that Kentucky was selected as recipient of Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge funds. Included in the proposal was funding to launch 150 new United Way Born Learning Academies across the state through the DFRYSC-funded Family Resource Centers. The office will partner with United Way to expand and continue support all academies by 2016.

Click here for a current list of all of the locations of United Way Born Learning Academies in the state.

About Don Weber

Don Weber joined cn|2 when it launched back in May 2010 and soon became a reporter for Pure Politics. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and has spent many years covering everything from politics to sports. Don says he loves meeting new people everyday as part of his job and also enjoys the fact that no two days are the same when he comes to work. Don Weber can be reached at donald.weber@twcnews.com.

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