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March 16, 2016

Early Learning Expert Visit Kicks Off School Readiness Network

Most of us have seen the troubling facts and statistics regarding school readiness. According to a recent national study by Age of Learning, Inc., America’s kindergarten teachers believe most young children are unprepared for school when they enter kindergarten, and veteran kindergarten teachers believe this situation is deteriorating.

The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading embraces the moral imperative to take action to ensure all children, especially those from low-income families, succeed in school. Part of a nationwide movement, our region is focusing on addressing the most common issues and obstacles that impact a child’s ability to read.

One of the campaign’s key solution areas is school readiness. The new Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading School Readiness Network comprised of stakeholders from multiple sectors is committed to ensuring the children of our region will enter kindergarten ready to learn and succeed – academically, emotionally, and developmentally.

Ellen Galinsky, author of the best-selling book Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs recently visited the Suncoast region to kick off this network and addressed more than 175 people at a luncheon held in the grand foyer of The Van Wezel Performing Arts Center. Among the topics covered were executive function skills and the importance of “serve and return” when communicating with children.

Research shows that executive function skills affect school readiness, school success, college graduation rates, work and life success and more. Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs proves these skills can be taught and promoted at any age. As Galinsky stated at the luncheon, we must find a way to “rekindle the fire in a child’s eye” to instill a love of learning.

The success of Mind in the Making resulted in the creation of the Seven Essential Skills modules. A set of eight, each module covers one of the essential skills and an introductory module provides a broad overview. Ellen Galinsky and the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading are partnering to bring this program to our local region.

The Seven Essential Skills Training Modules are intended to reach parents, caregivers, and early childhood practitioners, including early care & learning and elementary administrators and staff.

We’ll be sharing more information about this exciting opportunity in the coming months.

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