Early learning collaborative promotes readiness

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PROSPECT — Skills for the 21st century were the focus of Region 16’s Early Childhood Collaborative dinner meeting Nov. 17.

Special Education Preschool Teacher and grant writer Annette Shelbrack introduced parents, educators, and care providers present at the meeting to P21, The Partnership for 21st Century Skills. P21 is a national organization that advocates for 21st Century readiness as the United States continues to compete in an increasingly global market.

P21 outlines the “4C’s,” creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration as the foundation of every child’s learning experience. The Early Childhood Collaborative hopes to foster this belief by creating enrichment opportunities that bring the community together for the sake of holistically educating our preschoolers.

“Children should be brought to the museum, the planetarium, to a place where they can witness technology,” Shelbrack said in a press release.

However, the collaboration recognizes that families might not always have the extra time or money for these experiences, the release stated, and the collaboration offered to find members of the community to bring these experiences free of charge to the children.

Guests at the dinner completed a survey that asked for volunteers with specialties or talents who were willing to offer their time and expertise. Participants came through with talents that spanned world languages to x-ray technology. These events will be scheduled for early 2012 and will be open to all children in the community, according to the release.

Discovery Toys and Usborne Books were also present that night with special deals for the guests and will be present at future events. Parents of preschoolers are encouraged to attend the next dinner meeting on Jan. 19 at Addona’s Banquet Room.

For more information, visit www.region16ct.org and look under the “schools” link.