notes from Amy
Local communities are driving innovation in early education.
Springfield received a “Pacesetter Award” recently from the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, and is one of 38 communities nationwide to receive this recognition. The award is given to communities making measurable progress on eliminating barriers faced by children from low-income families on the path to becoming proficient readers.
New Bedford’s collaborative preschool planning has earned local press coverage. The article highlights exactly the kind of private/public partnership that is needed to expand preschool opportunity for our children and families.
We know that the five communities that received Federal Preschool Expansion Grants—Boston, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell and Springfield— and the 13 communities / regions that received the state-funded Preschool Expansion Planning Grants—Athol, Brockton, Cape Cod, Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, New Bedford, North Adams, Pittsfield, Springfield, Somerville and Worcester— are working together and learning critical lessons about what it will take to deliver on the promise of ensuring high-quality preschool in a mixed delivery system in Massachusetts.
They are considering the programmatic landscape, demographic data, the number of children enrolled, the wants and needs of families, how to recruit and retain early educators and how to make transitions smoother between early education and the early elementary grades.
We continue to learn so much from our local work, and use it to inform our state advocacy. SFC sees “Community Readiness” as a necessary condition for the effective use of public resources. And we see many opportunities for state and national experts to learn from the fantastic local work underway in Massachusetts.