New National Program Offers Unique Tools for Early Educators to Promote Young Children’s Brain and Language Development
NASHVILLE, TN — Global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) and Too Small to Fail, in partnership with the National Head Start Association (NHSA) and the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC), announces STRIVE for 5, a hands-on bilingual (English/Spanish) program designed to provide early educators with instant tools and ideas to promote children’s language development and improve the quality of early learning environments. The goal of STRIVE for 5 is to equip early educators with concrete resources to support the growth and development of young children from infancy to age five—along with hands-on materials and strategies to engage parents and families.
The program is divided into five user-friendly segments, with key information and tools to help educators create a vocabulary-rich early learning environment and enrich daily moments with activities like talking, reading, and singing. Created with educators in mind, STRIVE for 5 offers a variety of resources, including:
- An Educator Guide that takes educators through each step of the program and provides opportunities to record observations;
- A series of videos for each week of the program which features experts in the early childhood field;
- A deck of colorful and engaging “Little Things Cards” with early literacy activities that educators can integrate into children’s daily routines and activities; and
- Mini wall posters with age-appropriate activity suggestions on how educators can incorporate talking, reading and singing into everyday moments such as diaper time, nap time, play time and snack time.
A robust program website (www.striveforfive.com) will provide educators with access to all the program materials, as well as engaging, interactive resources, including journaling pages and instant tips to engage young learners.
A particularly unique and engaging feature of STRIVE for 5 is the forum hosted on the program website, which provides a place where early learning educators can discuss the program with their peers from across the country, ask questions, and give each other ideas about best practices.
“We know that children are born learning and that each day provides countless moments to create language-rich environments and nurture curiosity across all of the spaces where children learn, play and live,” said Linda K. Zecher, President and CEO, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “We are immensely proud of Strive for 5, and are confident that the tools, strategies and tips provided will be a valuable resource for early child educators and the families within the learning communities they serve.”
“We are particularly enthusiastic about the flexibility STRIVE for 5 offers early learning practitioners,” said National Head Start Association executive director Yasmina Vinci. “STRIVE for 5 offers easy-to-use and adaptable program elements that can be incorporated into centers where and when it is convenient, augmenting the quality care and education offered to the young children and families Head Start serves.”
Centered on brain science research, STRIVE for 5 reflects decades of data that demonstrates that the early months and years of a child’s life offer a critical opportunity to shape his or her future.
“We know millions of children spend a significant amount of time outside the home in formal and informal education and care settings. There is a clear opportunity and need to provide early educators with innovative tools to create a nurturing and stimulating environment to promote early language development,” said Patti Miller, Director of Too Small to Fail.
“STRIVE for 5 aims to create a collaborative, supportive environment in which early learning professionals in family child care can absorb and share their wealth of knowledge about creating a quality and impactful early learning experience,” said National Association for Family Child Care Executive Director Eva Daniels.
About Too Small to Fail
Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of the Clinton Foundation and The Opportunity Institute, is leading a public awareness and action campaign to promote the importance of early brain and language development and to empower parents with tools to talk, read, and sing with their young children from birth. Today, almost 60 percent of children in the United States start kindergarten unprepared, lagging behind their peers in critical language, math, and social-emotional skills. Through partnerships with pediatricians, hospitals, faith-based leaders, community based organizations, businesses, entertainment industry leaders, and others, Too Small to Fail is meeting parents where they are to help them prepare their children for success in school and beyond. Whether at the pediatrician’s office or the playground, Too Small to Fail aims to make small moments big by creating opportunities for meaningful interactions anytime, anywhere.
Learn more at www.toosmall.org. Find resources for parents and caregivers at www.talkingisteaching.org or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/2smalltofail), Twitter (@2SmalltoFail), and Instagram (www.instagram.com/2smalltofail).
About National Head Start Association
The National Head Start Association (NHSA) is a nonprofit organization committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in life if given the opportunity that Head Start offers to children and families. Since 1974 it has worked diligently for policy changes that ensure all at-risk children have access to the Head Start model of support for the whole child, the family, and the community. NHSA is the untiring voice for more than 1 million children, 200,000 staff, and 1,600 Head Start grantees in the United States each year. Its mission is to coalesce, inspire, and support the Head Start field as a leader in early childhood development and education.
About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) is a global learning company dedicated to changing people’s lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. As a leading provider of pre-K–12 education content, services, and cutting-edge technology solutions across a variety of media, HMH enables learning in a changing landscape. HMH is uniquely positioned to create engaging and effective educational content and experiences from early childhood to beyond the classroom. HMH serves more than 50 million students in over 150 countries worldwide, while its award-winning children’s books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit www.hmhco.com.
About National Association for Family Child Care
The National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) is the professional association promoting high-quality early childhood experiences in family child care settings. NAFCC represents more than 5,700 family child care provider members and works on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of family child care programs operating across the country. Across the country, family child care homes provide high-quality programs for infants and toddlers, preschoolers, school age, and children with special needs. NAFCC has led the family child care accreditation program for over 25 years. Accreditation is not just a mark of quality, but a demonstration of commitment to continuous quality improvement. Family child care is an essential component to advancing high-quality early care and education opportunities in the United States. NAFCC is working to prioritize the role of family child care and promote access, affordability and quality of early care and education.
– See more at: http://www.hmhco.com/media-center/press-releases/2016/may/strive-for-five#sthash.4c2Vguxa.dpuf