Westridge Elementary

Early Childhood program is state award finalist
Early Childhood program is state award finalist
Posted on 05/31/2016

The Raytown C-2 School District’s Early Childhood Education Program has been selected as one of the top three finalists for the 2016 Missouri School Boards Association (MSBA) FutureBuilders’ Education Foundation Early Childhood Education Program of the Year Award.

Overviews of the top three finalists and the announcement of the winner will be made at the annual fall MSBA Conference held in Osage Beach, Missouri on Saturday, October 1, 2016.

“I am very proud of the Early Childhood programs in the Raytown School District.  They are a current focus and one our Board of Education intends to add even more emphasis on in coming years,” Superintendent Dr. Allan Markley said. “Research tells us that early childhood interventions are among the most impactful interventions in determining future success, so we feel having excellent Early Childhood programs is essential.  I am proud of our leadership in those areas.”

To be eligible for the award, districts must be members of the MSBA and must offer a high quality pre-K program.  According to MSBA, winners will be determined based on the district’s innovative approaches and outstanding ability to engage and support the development of the children in their care as well as their overall commitment to the early childhood education profession.

The five criteria detailed in the application were: Support of Child Development; Innovation; Involvement with Parents, Families and the Community; and Commitment to and Leadership in the Field of School Readiness. Raytown’s application detailed Early Childhood programs in Raytown, which include New Trails Early Learning Center, Herndon Career Center Preschool, and Parents As Teachers, along with the Success By Six initiative, all of which are available before students even begin in Kindergarten.

“Early Childhood education is an effective way to prepare our youngest learners for Kindergarten.  Having our 3 and 4 year olds exposed to social interactions, play, and learning opportunities for a small portion of their day provides an excellent foundation for their formal school years,” Kim Bielawski, Assistant Superintendent of Special Education and Early Childhood supervisor said.

Donna Denney, New Trails Principal and Early Childhood Director is pleased the district has been selected as a finalist for the award.

“We offer such a good variety of programs for our youngest learners, and that should be recognized,” Denney said. “It was hard to explain all we do for families in the limits of the application.”

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