Center Committed to Preparing Young Children for Success upon Entering School
The Allegany County Judy Center recently had its work published in the Harvard Family Research Project’s publication, “Ready for Success: Creating Collaborative and Thoughtful Transitions into Kindergarten.” Maryland is one of six states whose best practices are highlighted in the brief for its use of collaborative efforts at the school, district, and state levels to support teachers’ use of quality transition practices.
In 2001, Maryland established Judith P. Hoyer Early Child Care and Family Education Centers (Judy Centers) for low income areas to house a number of early care and education programs. These centers, which are a partnership between many community agencies working together to empower parents as they prepare their young children for school, strive to improve school readiness through early intervention, comprehensive services to families, and support of programs in the community that serve young children and their families.
Each of Maryland’s 24 local education agencies uses the Maryland Model for School Readiness (MMSR), a framework that assists early educators in instructing and assessing young children across seven domains of learning. In Allegany County’s Judy Center, all of the pre-k teachers are trained in MMSR, and staff uses information and scores from the MMSR to help make decisions across several programs.
In addition, the Allegany County Judy Center administers bi-annual surveys to families of pre-k and kindergarten families to gather information on needs, activities they would like to participate in throughout the year and finally their satisfaction with the activities that were offered as a means of giving parents a voice to help drive decisions about Judy Center topics and programs. The Judy Center also hosts a number of activities and events to help orient children to elementary schools prior to the start of kindergarten.
Allegany County hosts a Judy Center located at Beall Elementary School and extends services to John Humbird Elementary School as well. To access the Harvard Family Research Project, visit www.hfrp.org.