Contributors: Gabriella Caferro, QPPD Administrative Specialist and Early Learning Coaches Emily Zartman, Fanny Yang, Aaron Jeffers, Shawn Harris, Katie Culler, Amina Sudduth
As the summer comes to an end, DEEL is shining a light on how schools and community-based organizations prepared students for in-person learning for their return to classrooms this fall. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting several programs that provided increased academic, social and emotional learning opportunities that support student wellness and success. In this article, we feature Seattle Preschool Program’s home learning kits which provided families with materials to support their child’s learning and development from home throughout the pandemic.
When the pandemic began, keeping 3- and 4-year-olds engaged through remote learning proved to be a challenge for parents and teachers. Early learning research shows us that at this age, children rely heavily on sensory exploration to build an understanding of the world around them. Interacting with tangible objects makes important sensory connections in children’s brains and builds important foundations for learning and development. As the rich learning environment of preschool classrooms was altered to a virtual format, families’ access to the wide assortment of materials typically found in a preschool classroom was limited. Families and educators found themselves in new, uncharted territory.
To address this need for Seattle’s youngest learners, the Department of Education and Early Learning’s (DEEL) Quality Practice and Professional Development (QPPD) team developed home-learning kits for children enrolled in DEEL-sponsored early learning programs such as birth-to-three services, Seattle Preschool Program (SPP), and SPP Pathway programs to increase parent engagement in their child’s learning and support healthy childhood development from home.[Read more…]