Grant offers opportunities to improve school readiness

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PROSPECT — Region 16’s Beacon Falls-Prospect Early Childhood Collaborative has received a $10,000 grant to be used towards bringing parents and early childhood programs together in exciting and informative experiences that will best prepare their children to enter the public school system.

The grant was funded by the Connecticut Community Foundation and will go towards funding a series of meetings and events over the next eight months. The purpose of the collaborative is to support and empower parents to recognize their child’s education as a true partnership with the public school while easing the anxiety of letting go of one’s child and putting their child’s education into the hands of another.

“We want to give parents an opportunity to learn how to help their children get excited about learning,” Special Education Preschool Teacher and grant writer Annette Shelbrack said in a prepared release issue by Region 16.

As part of the Early Childhood Collaboration efforts, a Readiness Fun Fair was held last April. Young children, even those not yet enrolled in school, were invited to come and participate. Parents, grandparents, children, and teachers turned out for the fair. Children gathered together to build towers, act out with puppets, listen to stories, and play pretend.

According to the release, the children were engaged, were having fun, were learning, and parents and caregivers left the event with wonderful ideas on how to encourage learning at home.

This year promises to bring parents and caregivers many more opportunities to learn more about what their children need to know, and how they can be a more integral part of that learning, according to the release. Meetings over the next few months will allow parents, caregivers, and teachers to come together in a casual atmosphere and ask questions and talk about what is most important to them, and how they can help their child be happy and successful in school.

On Oct. 27 a meeting took place at Addona’s Banquet Room in Prospect, which included a discussion on finalizing the vision and mission of the Early Childhood Collaborative.

The community is invited to the next dinner meeting on Nov. 17 at 5:30 pm at Addona’s Banquet Room in Prospect. RSVP to the following e-mail: r16prek@region16ct.org.

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