December 2012

In This Issue
Happy Holidays
Recipients of 2012 funding from LISC's Child Care and Educational Facilities Initiative
LISC's Natural Playgrounds Initiative
Impact of the Environment on Learning
Join Our Mailing List
Like us on Facebook 

News for Rhode Island's Charter School Community


LISC's Educational Facilities Financing Center is very excited to announce the release of Charter School Bond Issuance: A Complete History, Volume 2. The publication examines the academic, operational and financial drivers of credit strength and risk for charter schools and the metrics for measuring them. For the first time, this volume provides extensive data and analysis of the disclosure provided in charter school bond offering documents, the credit characteristics of charter school borrowers at the time of issuance, the current financial strength of bond-financed charter schools as reflected in audited financial statements for Fiscal Year 2011 (FY11) and the repayment performance of these borrowers as of May 31, 2012.

Natural Disasters - Are We Prepared?     


Children represent nearly 25 percent of the population, yet, according to theNational Commission on Children and Disasters, the unique needs of children often are overlooked or misunderstood in disaster planning and management. Every weekday, for example, 67 million children attend schools and the more than 325,000 licensed child-care facilities in the United States, but according toSave the Children less than one-quarter of states require child care facilities and schools to meet four basic criteria for disaster preparedness:  


1. Licensed child care facilities have a written plan for evacuating and moving kids to a safe location for multiple disasters;


2. Licensed child care facilities have a written plan to notify parents of an emergency and reunite them with their kids;


3. Licensed child care facilities have a written plan that accounts for kids with special needs; and


4. Schools have a disaster plan that accounts for multiple hazards.


Is Rhode Island prepared? Learn more here.

Emergency Preparedness - Get your Center Ready Today using this toolkit from the Child Care Division of the Government Services Administration.
The Rhode Island Child Care Facilities Fund (RICCFF) is an innovative public-private partnership dedicated to expanding access to quality child care and early education in low-income communities throughout Rhode Island. Launched in 2001, the RICCFF provides the capital and technical expertise that child care centers need to improve the quality and capacity of their physical space. The Fund can provide a combination of training, technical assistance and flexible, affordable financing for a wide range of projects including minor renovations or construction of a new, state-of-the-art child care facility. Click the logo below to learn more about what the RICCFF can offer your program.

Wishing all of our community partners a very Happy Holiday Season! We look forward to working together
with all of you in the coming year to continue 
"Building Solutions for Rhode Island's Children".     

Congratulations to the Recipients of 2012 Funding from LISC's Child Care and Educational Facilities Initiatives     


In 2012 LISC Rhode Island invested a total of $851,634.00 

in educational facilities (including child care/early learning centers, charter/independent schools and outdoor play areas). We congratulate the recipients of these funds and recognize their leadership in seeking to make improvements to learning environments for children across our state. 

Table png-24

Update on LISC's Natural Playgrounds Initiative


Combating the growing childhood obesity epidemic, exposing children to natural settings, extending learning experiences, creating safer environments - these are all reasons that during 2012 LISC focused attention to improving outdoor play environments at early learning facilities across Rhode Island. Learn more about LISC's natural playgrounds initiative here.

All of these Rhode Island projects are still in the development stage - one big "lesson learned" from this 2012 initiative is that development projects (indoors and out) take time! While we wait for some breathtaking "after" photos, take a look at this portfolio of fantastic natural playgrounds designed by Studio MLA, LISC's technical consultant on early childhood facility design.

Impact of the Environment on Learning

Environment Inspiration 2up


In the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, the environment is referred to as "the third teacher". The focus on the importance of the environment lies in the belief that children can best create meaning and make sense of their world through environments which support "complex, varied, sustained, and changing relationships between people, the world of experience, ideas and the many ways of expressing ideas."


The following article titled "How the Environment Inspires Curriculum" by Julianne Wurm talks about working in Reggio-inspired ways.


Working with schools on transforming their practice or at least beginning on the path of Reggio-inspired practice has taught me many lessons. I have visited schools around the country and had reinforced time after time the idea that what we believe about children is visible in the choices we make within our schools. Nowhere is this more evident than in the environment. The choices about the environment we create also link directly to the play and learning in individual classrooms and schools. As part of the educational experience, we can render a great influence on the how and why of the actual play that is enacted, and curriculum engaged, by virtue of the choices we make in constructing these spaces. It is for these reasons that the environment is a wonderfully concrete place to begin asking educators to look at what they are communicating about how they view children. Continue reading here