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Newsletter

January 2021

As we start the New Year with COVID-19 cases continuing to surge, Preschools and child care programs are persevering under ever-more challenging conditions.
 
While Congress has included funding for them in the stimulus package that passed in December, it’s not enough to cover the increased costs in the face of COVID-19.
We have much more work to do to let our elected leaders know that families — and employers — need strong early learning programs.
 
We are grateful of our community's support of early learning, and we will continue to prioritize young children and families as we all look forward to brighter days in 2021.


Robyn Lightcap
Executive Director


We're welcoming new Parent Ambassadors

Preschool Promise Parent Ambassadors advise us on how to best support young children and families. These parents and grandparents meet with us monthly and serve a one-year term that begins in January. We received more than 100 applications to join this year’s team, and are in selection process of reaching out to candidates.
 
Parent Ambassadors, who receive a small stipend, must currently have (or have had) a child enrolled in Preschool Promise. In addition to helping guide our work, they join us in recruiting new families and assist us in getting the word out about the power of Preschool.
 
We’re excited to begin the New Year with this group of dedicated advisers!


Check out the new Passport to Kindergarten app

phone
Passport to Kindergarten is a year-long program that promotes children’s literacy and language development by providing evidence-based monthly professional development to Preschool teachers and free enriching learning opportunities to families of 4-year-olds.

Teachers and families learn how AWEsome Moments help children love books. A stands for Ask questions when reading together, W is for wait for the child’s response and E reminds adults to expand on a child’s answers.

Because COVID-19 is preventing Passport to Kindergarten teachers and families from gathering together, we created a new interactive app that allows families to track all the books they read at home and to stay in touch with their teachers. We’ve also created fun videos where teachers demonstrate how to engage children using their free Books-of-the-Month.

Watch the videos on our YouTube Channel and see children learning the love of reading.


We need more great early educators

Debra Brathwaite
Thanks to the generous support of The Dayton Foundation, Preschool Promise is working with Dr. Debra Brathwaite who is part of the Foundation’s Del Mar Encore Fellows initiative. Dr. Brathwaite is helping find new ways of building a strong early childhood education workforce. Specifically, she’s focused on creating education pathways for early learning professionals to improve their qualifications and earn degrees and credentials.

Dr. Brathwaite is working with leaders from higher education institutions as well as community-based organizations to break down barriers, including minimizing college debt and increasing the woefully low compensation early childhood educators earn.

Without a strong workforce, our children won’t get the quality early education they need and deserve.


1,200 Preschool Promise PLUS families have new tablets

family with tablet
We hope you’ve heard about our new initiative — Preschool Promise PLUS — designed to help Preschoolers learn at home during COVID-19. Benefits include a free tablet with fun learning apps and a year-long subscription to ABC Mouse. Our vendors had frustrating logistical challenges getting the tablets out, but 1,200 families now have them!

We want to keep enrolling more children to ensure they’re ready for Kindergarten. Even 4-year-olds who are attending a Preschool that is not a Preschool Promise partner site may join Preschool Promise PLUS.

Children who turned 4 by September 30, 2020 will be age-eligible to start Kindergarten next school year. If you know a Montgomery County family with a 4-year old, tell them about this exciting free program!


Black boys are counting on us to do better

boy on tire
Preschool Promise is bringing together a new group to help us transform Preschool for Black boys. Too many Black boys are starting Kindergarten behind, and many have lower attendance than their peers. We need to identify new ways to meet their needs and encourage them to come to Preschool!

Thank you to the Rev. Joshua Ward, Senior Pastor of Omega Baptist Church, and Jonathan Washington, Founder of Gem City Heat, who will be leading the group and coming up with innovative ideas and recommendations.


WHIO Meteorologist Dontae Jones is our January Partner In Play

WHIO Meteorologist
This month we’re partnering with Dontae Jones, WHIO-TV meteorologist, to provide a fun learning activity. Each month Preschool Promise families receive a Play Box of learning materials sent to their homes. The January box includes items for science learning activities related to snow.

Dontae created a video in which he reads the January Book-of-the-Month, The Snowy Day, and he also did a science demonstration about snow. We’ll be posting the video January 8 at Preschool Promise.org and on our Facebook page.  

Thank you, Dontae, for encouraging our young learners! What do you want to bet that some will grow up to be meteorologists!



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