I can honestly report to each of you that I am HOPEFUL. Yep, that’s right, HOPEFUL IN CAPITAL LETTERS!
Last May, Ripple was awarded a contract with South Carolina First Steps to help children in three high-need counties become ready for school through early childhood social, emotional, and behavioral development.
What is South Carolina First Steps? The following is taken straight off their web site.
Nearly one in seven SC children are assessed as not ready for first grade. In some communities, this statistic is as poor as one in four, or greater. Research studies repeatedly show that children who arrive unprepared for first grade’s challenges have a difficult time catching up and succeeding throughout the rest of their school years. Many of these students drop out of school or do not find fulfilling productive jobs after high school as a result of their slow start.
South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness was signed into law in 1999 to help improve school readiness for the state’s youngest learners. First Steps is a comprehensive, results-oriented statewide education initiative to help prepare children to reach first grade healthy and ready to succeed.
I am the lead trainer across Charleston, Georgetown and Horry Counties and began the training in June. Another piece of the contract is for me to go into the classrooms to coach and mentor teachers. This began Friday, September 16, in Georgetown, South Carolina and then with Carousel Early Learning Center in Charleston on September 19 and The Learning Station in Conway on September 23.
Success stories are rampant across all three counties. “We’re the baby whisperers!” was a comment in Georgetown said proudly. Teachers are beginning to understand that teaching self-control begins with them. Authentically connecting with each child makes a difference.
Yep, hope is a good thing and I believe that changes are happening that will lead to stronger families that create stronger communities. Let the Ripple continue.