The Learning Connection program mission is to provide all children and their families access to quality early childhood education, and to enhance children's development during the early years of life while strengthening families through the education and support of all parents in providing the best possible environment for the healthy growth and development of their children.
The Learning Connection's message is that what parents do is important. What parents do to guide and nurture their own children and their skill in working with others who share responsibility for their child's development (teachers, schools, and others in the community) is critical to their children's future.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
- To support children's optimal physical, intellectual, social and emotional development during the important early years of life.
- To promote informed, realistic attitudes and expectations about raising children.
- To increase parent involvement in children's learning, development and education.
- To enhance effective communication and healthy parent-child/family relations.
- To facilitate the development of family support networks for effective parenting.
- To encourage the development and effective use of community resources for families.
- To prevent child abuse, family violence and other negative family outcomes.
METHODS (INPUTS AND OUTPUTS)
The Learning Connection Program is a comprehensive early learning program that support parents as their child's first and most important educators. The program is designed to offer children ages birth to five valuable learning experiences with their parents while in a classroom setting. Parents learn age appropriate activities that enhance their child's learning experiences, in addition to being provided with on-going parenting support. Parents also meet separately from their child to learn about various parenting topics and community resources. The following list of components provide learning opportunities for families:
- Parent-child classes that meet weekly
- Parent discussion groups during the weekly classes
- Learning activities for children that are age appropriate
- Special events for the entire family
- Opportunities for early screening for children's health and development
- Information on other community resources for families with young children
- Kindergarten Connection Classes
- Qualified Early Childhood Teachers and Parent Educators
The Learning Connection directly impacts the following Empowerment priority areas:
- Enrollment in preschool - All participant children have preschool experiences due to their participation in the program. Early preschool experiences are vital to the brain development that takes place in children during those first three years of life. And, in most instances, the Learning Connection is the only preschool experience available to children ages birth to three.
- Kindergarten Readiness - Following enrollment in the Learning Connection Program, children demonstrate personal and social development as well as language and literacy indicators, which support their adjustment to kindergarten.
- Child Abuse/Safety through Parent Support and Education -Participant parents increase positive parenting knowledge and confidence in parenting ability.