United Way invests in intitatives to prepare children in Baytown, Highlands and Chambers County to succeed when they enter Kindergarten.
Readiness of our children to succeed in school depends on the adults who are with the children each day. With this big picture in mind, key United Way partners and volunteers stakeholders have identified and implemented five initiatives.
- Parents as Teachers- Nationally proven program of home visits by Family Services of Greater Houston trained Kindergarten readiness specialists who coach caregiver (parent, grandparent, other,) provide the necessary skills to parents to stimulate their children's readiness to learn before they enter school. They also conduct monthly parent-and-tot group meetings, reaching more than 100 children at any given time.
- Quality Improvement for Early Childhood Centers- At five early childhood centers serving more than 650 children, Collaborative for Children mentors and coaches directors, develops and trains teachers, implements classroom action plans, provides curriculum ressources, and more- all to help the directors and teachers be more successful with children.
- Professional Development Opportunities- Boosted by collaboration with United Way and other partners including Lee College, the Baytown Early Educators, a group of directors and teachers dedicated to sharing best practices and training, has seen its membership nearly triple within the last several years. In addition, Lee College restarted its early childhood education instructional program. Dozens of early childhood professionals are being supoorted in their studies to earn the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Collaborative for Children, as part of its quality improvement work, conducts training meetings open to all early childhood centers.
- Parent Workshops- Skilled volunteers with early childhood education background present evening workshops to caregivers. In small groups, these volunteers demonstrate to parents how to use the contents of take-home kits full of tools, tips and toys for effective early childhood development. Since 2013, more than 350 adults have been reached. The workshops are conducted in both English and Spanish.
- Born Learning Trail- This trail consists of 10 interactive stations installed along the walking trail at both N.C. Foote and Allenbrook Park in Baytown, as well as Mont Belvieu (coming in 2015.) At each station the adult reads prompts on a sign to encourage aspects of development on the part of the pre-school child-- from engaging the child's imagination, to physical activity, to learning the difference between shapes and colors painted on sidewalk, to listen and describing sounds.
Click Here for the information about the Community Update that was presented on January 27, 2015
Click Here to watch a 2 minute video about the Born Learning Trail
Click Here to watch a 3 minute video about the Parent Workshops
For more information on the work United Way of Greater Baytown Area & Chambers County and community partners are doing with Kindergarten Readiness call (281) 424-5922