2016: A Year in Review and A Look Forward

The theme of 2016 at ESNG was expansion. We expanded our programs, reach, events and accreditations. Let’s take a look back at what we did as we get ready for a fun and exciting 2017.for blog

STEM
Last year, we piloted the innovative STEM in early education at our Brookvalley location. Thanks to funding from the Sibley Award and Frances Hollis Brain Foundation, we are expanding the program to our Guice, Mansell and Warsaw locations.

20151112_143926_resized Continue reading “2016: A Year in Review and A Look Forward”

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Teach a child to read and you educate him for a lifetime

“Thursdays are the most exciting days at our house because my daughter gets a new set of books. All my children enjoy when I read the books to them. We act them out. They really make it fun.”

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Today has been a day that really illustrates the importance of introducing the love of books to children early. This afternoon I went to our child development center at Guice which is one of ESNG’s two centers that have the Raising A Reader program. I wanted to see and take pictures of the kids getting their red Raising A Reader bags filled with books for them to take home. When I was visiting with Classroom G, there was a little boy there who kept bringing books to his teacher to read to him. Here’s a child whose family does not have a lot of money and has a developmental disability yet his love of books was phenomenal.

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Then, after work I took my son to his school’s book fair. Here’s a room full of elementary-aged children who still truly loved books. Their excitement was just as phenomenal as the little boy in Classroom G.

The love of reading seems to be an innate in all children – no matter their ability or their family’s income. It is something that we have to foster in all children. A family that is engaged in their child’s learning and a child’s exposure to books are two key factors that set a child up for success not only in school but also in life.

Volunteer

I challenge all of you to:

  • donate children’s books
  • gift age-appropriate books at baby showers and children’s birthday parties
  • read to your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews every day
  • volunteer to read at your nearest Head Start facility

11 Tips (and Bonus Matieral) to Prevent Summer Brain Drain

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School may be winding down for the summer, but your child’s learning shouldn’t be. With only a couple more days of school left for our child development centers, let’s not forget that our learning shouldn’t go on summer vacation!

According to a 2011 RAND Corporation report, the average summer learning loss in math and reading for American students amounts to one month per year. More troubling is that it disproportionately affects low-income students: they lose two months of reading skills. Children entering Pre-K and Kindergarten should be encouraged to practice all their new skills they learned during the school year.

There are many ways to incorporate learning during the summer months. Below are some tips followed by a list of online resources.

Ideas and tips: 

  1. Kids have been learning while they play, so do the same at home.blog3
  2. Go outside and explore your environment. Identify trees, plants and animals and have your child draw a picture.
  3. If you go to the beach for vacation, talk about marine life, environment and ecosystem.
  4. If you stay home, take your child to the library, museum, fire station and parks.blog4
  5. If you are a busy working parent, talk about what you and your coworkers do.
  6. Have your child interview his relatives and then draw what he learned.
  7. Have your child count and sort (by size, color, shape) items in your house.
  8. Read with your child 20 minutes a day, every day.blog2
  9. Sprinkle non-fiction, fiction and comic books in your reading routine.
  10. Engage your child in the book by asking her to draw what she learned.
  11. Have your child practice writing his name using sidewalk chalk.

Bonus Material!

Resources: 

*Limit screen time to 1-2 hours a day

Why is reading every day so important? We’ve got 48 million reasons why…

Some facts for you to digest:

  • The US ranks 25th in the world in the enrollment of 4-year-olds in early learning (OCED, Education at a Glance, 2013)
  • 62% of children, in Georgia, living below the federal poverty line do not attend preschool (Annie E. Casey, KidsCount)
  • Only 16% of children, in Georgia, age 1-5 are read to more than 3 days a week (Annie E. Casey, KidsCount)
  • The average middle-income home has 54 age-appropriate books for children, while a low-income home has 0-2 books (McQuillan, Jeff, The Literacy Crisis)
  • Children with early reading deficiencies are far less likely to graduate from high school, become effective citizens and develop skills essential for contributing to the 21st century economy (Early Reading Advisory Committee, 2010)

Why is it important:

Language is one of the first developmental skills we acquire as a child. This can be delayed if the child is not being read to consistently. According to research by Hart & Risley, children from low-income families hear 600 words an hour, while children from middle-income families hear 2,100. That adds up to an average of 13 million and 48 million, respectively, by the time these children are 4.

What we can do about it:

Read to our children, nieces, nephews, friends! It’s a great way to calm your child down before bed time, during snuggle time or as you wake up. Our children at our child development centers love when volunteers come to read to them. It’s just 30 minutes of your day, and what a difference you make to that child’s education. How many words can you contribute to the 48 million?!

Volunteer