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Photo Courtesy of United Way’s Advancing Family
Success in school is a proven indicator of success in later life. The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread School Readiness Coalition is comprised of local early childhood educators and other partners who recognize that access to comprehensive information about a child’s educational progress, successes and needs improves early education and assures a child’s likelihood of success as an adult. Until now, the ability to share such information did not exist in Racine.
The Coalition has set up a process by which the same nationally accepted developmental screening tool is being used by a broad group of public and private childhood educators. More than 150 children in Racine between the ages of four and five participated in the Coalition’s initial pilot project. The program will be expanded to over 2,000 children in the 2012-2013 school year. Results from the pilot project will help Coalition partners and kindergarten teachers better meet the educational needs of children.
The pilot program included a screening tool that parents and caregivers can use to identify whether a child has mastered basic developmentally appropriate skills such as: communication, motor skills, problem-solving, personal and social skills, and emotional growth.
The findings from the pilot program will help educators and parents identify those children who require additional early intervention, as well as those children who could benefit from age-appropriate learning activities. The additional attention will help prepare a child to enter school on track with his or her peers and boost their chances for academic success.