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August 4, 2010

CCSD Expands and Enhances Early Education Offerings

Early ChildhoodEach day, Charleston County School District (CCSD) works to ensure that every student thrives and reaches his or her full potential. The district’s Office of Early Childhood Education offers programs which help the youngest of students- including those from high-poverty backgrounds- to access the tools necessary to excel in the classroom and beyond.

The 2010-2011 school year marks an exciting time in regards to Early Childhood programming.

Expansion of CCSD's Early Head Start

Early Childhood EducationThrough a $2.5 million Early Head Start expansion grant offered through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, CCSD now offers five new Early Learning Centers to serve children facing socioeconomic and other challenges.

Head Start is a national program that promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families. Early Head Start supports the development of infants and toddlers and promotes healthy family functioning.

CCSD's Early Learning Centers will provide Early Head Start students with experiences and interactions designed to build brain connections and sensorimotor skills.

The Juanita Middleton Rising Star Early Head Start Center is one example of these new facilities. The Center will support 16 infants and toddlers with a 1:4 ratio and will offer the Creative Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers. Parents will receive weekly home visits and attend required monthly parenting groups for socialization. Parents will have opportunities to attend parenting-focused conferences and participate in financial literacy, GED, career awareness, nutrition and health classes.

CCSD's other Early Learning Centers are located at Stall High School (serving 16 infants and toddlers), Midland Park Primary (with 40 center- and home-based participants), Sanders Clyde Elementary/Middle (serving 8 center-based students), and the Child and Family Development Center (with 24 center-based participants).

Expansion of 4-Year-Old Kindergarten/Child Development

CCSD has also expanded its 4-year-old Kindergarten/Child Development (4K/CD) programs to now serve seven additional schools during the 2010-2011 school year. New programs are now located at Mt. Pleasant Academy, Frierson Elementary, Ladson Elementary, Corcoran Elementary, Pepperhill Elementary, Memminger Elementary, and Angel Oak Elementary.

Child Development at Frierson Elementary

As of the end of July 2010, Frierson Elementary School currently has spaces available for students in its CD program. The program provides children who are age 4 before or on September 1, 2010 with a quality educational program, and individualized services to ensure their readiness for kindergarten. The CD 4 program will begin very soon, and we want to make certain that all eligible families in District 9 – John’s Island and the surrounding communities – have the opportunity to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.  Please share this information with your family, friends, and neighbors who may have children that are 4 years of age and would benefit from this great program.

Preparing for a Phenomenal Year of Learning: New Training & Summer Camp Opportunities

Child Develiopment CampAll of the district's CD and birth-to-four teachers are being trained this summer on the Creative Curriculum Gold assessment system, which helps teachers be intentional in their teaching by accurately identifying students' development and learning needs. The system is meant to provide a teacher-friendly and easy-to-understand tool to be used in their observation, documentation, portfolio-building, and reporting.

Another new development this year is the inclusion of Literacy and Language Summer Camps at Head Start Collaboration Schools. These opportunities provide extended and focused learning time for preschool children exiting CD programs. The camps provide activities led by highly-qualified teachers that build literacy, language and vocabulary, and social-emotional skills. Each camp served 12 Head Start-eligible children exiting CD classes who will be entering Kindergarten during the Fall 2010 in Head Start Collaboration Schools. The programs lasted for up to five hours daily and offered transportation and one nutritious meal a day.

Learn More!

For more information on the district's Early Head Start or CD programs, please email or call the Office of Early Childhood at 762-5387.

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