IN THIS ISSUE: Governor's Birth to 8 Summit, T.E.A.C.H Scholars, PK1 Stronger Together Conference and more...

Governor Markell Recognizes T.E.A.C.H
Early Childhood Scholars
Speaking at a joint meeting of the Delaware Early Childhood Council and Wilmington Early Care and Education Council on December 15, Governor Markell and Secretary of Education Godowsky honored nine early childhood scholars and their programs for participating in T.E.A.C.H., which provides scholarships to early learning professionals for college coursework leading to a cred
Gov. Markell and Krysta Thomas
ential or degree in early childhood education. To date, over two-hundred scholars have furthered their education and careers through the T.E.A.C.H. program, resulting in higher quality services to the young children and families they serve every day.
"The T.E.A.C.H. program is a great public-private partnership that creates opportunity for our teachers to receive advanced education, leading to higher wages and helping them gain additional skills to serve our state's youngest learners," said Markell.  "Investing in early childhood education is the best return on our tax dollars."
T.E.A.C.H. is one of many successful early learning initiatives that have been accelerated
Gov. Markell and Carrette Cameron
since 2011 when, despite budget challenges, Governor Markell proposed and the General Assembly passed a $22 million to increase early childhood funding by one third, and the state subsequently received a competitive federal four-year, $50 million dollar Early Learning Challenge grant which will expire in 2016.
Three of the scholars noted that T.E.A.C.H. broke down financial barriers for them, and that without the program they would not have been able to pursue their education. They spoke not only of their commitment to furthering their education, but also to their commitment to the young children they teach.
Gov. Markell and Jacquie Greene
Jacquie Greene, an early childhood educator and T.E.A.C.H. scholar from Parents And Children Together at Tech of United Cerebral Palsy of Delaware, used the occasion to ask Governor Markell to prioritize support of continued funding for the program. Tina Edwards, a family childcare provider in Dover, said she was motivated by her desire not to see "a child's potential squashed because no one invested in their future."
Dr. Godowsky paid tribute to the educators for seeking opportunities to further their education and professional development to continue to provide their students with a quality early education: "Just as great teaching is key to great learning when children reach school age, quality teaching and early education is critical to the development of our youngest learners."
Most T.E.A.C.H. scholars are women earning less than $15 per hour -76 percent of whom are married with children. Nearly half of the scholars are people of color and 41 percent are the first family member to attend college. The state funds the T.E.A.C.H. scholarships, centers commit to providing a bonus or raise to the teacher once the coursework is completed, and in return teachers commit to successfully completing coursework and to remaining in the same early childhood program.
"T.E.A.C.H. embodies the core principles that drive the Early Childhood Council's work -collaboration, evidence-based, and outcome driven," said Mary Kate Mouser, Council Chair and Operational Vice President of Nemours Health and Prevention Services.

Governor Markell's Weekly Address
Governor Markell's Weekly Address
2015 P-K-1st STRONGER TOGETHER Conference Focuses on Strong Educational Continuum 

Governor Markell
Delaware Governor Jack Markell officially opened the 2015
P-K-1st Stronger Together Conference speaking to the importance of a solid foundation for Delaware's children. Dr. Steven Godowsky, Delaware secretary of education, joined the Governor to open the conference addressing more than 230 preschool, kindergarten and first grade teachers, on Saturday, December 5, at Dover Downs, remarking that these types of conferences will benefit students in the long run.

Dr. Dan Gartrell's keynote address: What Readiness Really is: Not a State of Knowledge
Dr. Steven Godowsky
but a State of Mind, explored the concept that forming healthy, supportive relationships with young children and their families is the best tool teachers have to empowering open and courageous learners. He also shared seven guiding practices that help teachers support and sustain the state of mind in children that constitutes true readiness, reinforcing the importance of building strong foundations.

Dr. Dan Gartrell

The importance of providing a strong educational continuum for Delaware's children from preschool to kindergarten to first grade continued as the focus of the day with a series of workshops in the morning and afternoon on a variety of topics including sensory strategies, literacy, dual language learners, fine motor skills and learning through play.

A new report from New America's Education Policy Program examined the state of early education policy in all 50 states and Washington, DC and offers a framework for moving forward.

From Crawling to Walking: Ranking States on Birth - 3rd Grade Policies that Support Strong Readers, ranks states on 65 indicators in seven policy areas. The report found that most states are not taking a comprehensive approach when it comes to developing children's literacy skills. Accompanying the research are interactive maps of state progress displayed via New America's data visualization and policy analysis tool, Atlas.


This blogpost, from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimists blog, makes the case for more comprehensive training and compensation if we expect early childhood educators to be the drivers of educational reform.

This policy brief highlights findings from inventories conducted in seven states to date--California, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island--on the extent to which ECE teacher preparation is currently integrated across the birth-to-age-eight continuum, and on variations in field-based practice opportunities for teachers of young children.


Happy Holidays  
from Your Friends at the  
Office of Early Learning
Delaware Office of Early Learning |
401 Federal Street, Dover, DE 1910