As we delve into access and outcome data on Ohio's youngest learners, Groundwork recognizes that Ohio Babies Carry the Biggest Burden. Not only are Ohio's rates of preterm birth and infant mortality far above the national average, but eligible infants and toddlers are also less likely to access child care, especially in a quality setting. Only 12.9% of infants and toddlers are served in a high-quality rated program. With this in mind, Groundwork Ohio convened our state's leading experts on infants and toddlers this week to discuss the opportunities Ohio has to serve additional 0-3-year-olds in quality programs. This work emerges as Groundwork embarks on a strategic partnership with the Pritzker Children's Initiative, whose goal is to serve one million additional infants and toddlers across the country by 2023. Learn more about our 0-3 focused work.
Highlighting Local Success: Preschool Teachers Bond, Learn in Summit County Program
In 2017, Summit Education Initiative (SEI) developed and launched its CLASS Act Scholars of Summit County program to increase kindergarten readiness through teacher development and professional support. SEI designed the program to elevate, celebrate and support the quality of preschool teacher professional practices in Summit County, Ohio. For nine months, the CLASS Act Scholars program connects preschool teachers from a variety of learning settings to build relationships, deepen knowledge and learn how to interact more intentionally with children. Scheduled to graduate in May 2019, the program’s Class 2 of scholars are working through their “Making the Most of Classroom Interactions” coursework, which includes 10 instructional sessions. Like last year’s program, the curriculum aligns with CLASS® (Classroom Assessment Scoring System), a research-based observation tool. The course instruction, in addition to individual coaching and peer-to-peer support, helps drive positive results for each of the 20 participating scholars. Not only does this program help improve high-quality interactions between teachers and students in preschool classrooms, but also it reinforces the critical role early childhood educators play in the lives of students and the health of a community. Every scholar (19) who graduated from the program in May 2018 reported that the CLASS Act Scholars experience impacted or significantly impacted their professional practice, knowledge and thinking, as well as the quality of their specific classroom practices. (View the entire Class 1 Summary at this link.) “It was inspiring to see how deeply last year’s scholars bonded together as a group to grow and learn from each other,” said Laura DiCola, Early Childhood Strategy Leader for SEI and Member of Groundwork Ohio’s Advisory Committee. “Like last year, this year’s group of scholars come from a variety of different preschool settings and are very diverse in educational background, professional experience and student demographics.” To view a list of current and past CLASS Act Scholars and their preschools, visit www.seisummit.org/class.
Participate in Save the Children Action Network's 2019 Advocacy Summit
Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) has identified that Ohio is an important state when it comes to early childhood education policy. That means SCAN is looking for local activists who want to learn more about making a difference on local education issues. The Advocacy Summit is an amazing way to start building these skills and connect with the issue.
Groundwork Ohio's policy team kept busy this week meeting with members of the General Assembly to "lay the groundwork" for our upcoming budget advocacy and participate in Representative Emilia Sykes' listening session on infant and maternal mortality.