Linda Ware, owner of Lynn's Play
Kathy Campbell and Shanaé
students benefit from Early SUCCESS teacher training
Kathy Campbell was the only Hamilton County public school Pre-K
teacher to attend formal training for early childhood educators
through Strategies for Urban Child Care, Education, Support and
Services (Early SUCCESS), an early childhood educator professional
development grant from the U.S. Dept of Education. Campbell said
she was glad she attended, and she learned a lot.
“I think many of my colleagues with early education degrees
did not believe this training would offer much they did not already
know. I feel that if I attend a workshop or training session and
come away with two good ideas, my attendance was worthwhile. Project
Manager Kerry Hofer and everyone involved did a wonderful job, and
I have been able to incorporate so much into my curriculum so that
learning is more interesting for the students,” Campbell said.
Campbell’s learning tools include stuffed garden gloves on
broomsticks. These clever homemade inventions are really transition
tools to help students learn to tell time.
“Time is a difficult concept to convey to four year old students.
This method allows one child in my classroom to hold the numbered
glove to remind students they have five minutes or less left at
an activity center. The other glove is used to point to the clock
when we discuss telling time,” Campbell said.
The Early SUCCESS grant, secured by the UTC Children’s Center,
an early childhood program operated by the Department of Human Ecology,
of Health Education and Professional Studies, has provided 8,500
hours of training in literacy, language, and social skills development
to Hamilton County early childcare providers. Applicants came from
early childhood centers where at least half of the children are
living in low-income homes. Most participants teach children age
30 months to five years. To evaluate the teaching skills administered
through the grant, students’ progress was assessed to determine
the quality of the training prior to and post teacher training.
“We have trained 137 participants comprised of 114 teachers
and 23 directors from 43 different settings,” said Kerry Hofer,
Project Manger. The early educators completed the training of 80
hours of professional development at no cost, and were rewarded
with $1,000 worth of books and other literacy and language development
resources for there classrooms. The money is given during the course
of the training so teachers can begin to purchase materials they
are learning to use.
At Lynn’s Play Pen, teacher Shanaé Anderson incorporates
a different theme for each month.
“We have talked about zoo animals, the ocean, and transportation,”
Anderson said. “The children are also learning their names
with name puzzles. We cut up the letters of their names, and let
them match the letters to their names written on paper.”
The participants have also begun to read to their young students
more. Anderson has started a lending library through the help of
Early SUCCESS, and the students enjoy having their parents read
to them at home. Cassandra Tanner, owner, director and teacher of
Quality Learning Center in the Brainerd Area, says her students,
age 2 1/2-5 years want to read all the time. “ I have had
one parent tell me it the only way her daughter will calm down is
when they read a book,” Tanner said.
Early SUCCESS has also provided
- $113,024 in books and materials to the classrooms of participating
teachers; $15,079 in books to the libraries of participating settings.
- $16,600 in books to parents who have attended our workshops
at Neighborhood Reading Centers.
- $9,426 in books to 12 participating Neighborhood Reading Centers
throughout Hamilton County.
- $10,200 in books and materials to the Child Care Resource &
- $6,800 in books and materials to the grant's two model sites
of the UTC Children's Center.
“Although we have not been able to find funding to continue
our project with another group of trainees, we have received a no-cost
extension of our grant until October 2005,” Hofer said. “During
this period, we will complete all data collection and analysis,
continue to distribute our monthly newsletter to all training participants,
and continue to work with Neighborhood Reading Centers,” Hofer
In addition, representatives from Early SUCCESS will present at
the 2004 Capital Area Association for the Education of Young Children
( CAAEYC) and National Association for the Education of Young Children
(NAEYC) Conferences in October and November and the IRA Conference
in May 2005.