By Abigail Martin
Christian Appalachian Project’s (CAP) Family Life Child Development Center (CDC) hosts Kindergarten Readiness each year after preschool graduation to prepare students for the upcoming school year. This program is important for children who may not have the skills necessary to go straight into kindergarten.
“Kindergarten Readiness is a way to identify the things a child should know and be able to do when they enter kindergarten. These skills and abilities are linked to various areas of child development/domains that include communication skills, motor skills, cognitive skills, social/emotional skills, and adaptive skills,” said Jenifer Didelot, head teacher at the CFDC.
“Early intervention increases a child’s ability to be successful throughout their school career. Identifying potential delays and disabilities at this stage of life is critical since therapy during these years is extremely successful. Therapists can detect and address developmental delays before they grow into more serious difficulties later in life,” Didelot added.
At the CDC, students are screened using a tool to identify where students may be struggling. They are assessed for language, concepts, and motor skills. Students at the CDC receive a curriculum-based education to ensure that they will learn everything they need to know before kindergarten.
“We use a curriculum aligned with early childhood standards and provides teachers with a platform to keep track of anecdotal notes and track the growth of each child’s progress,” Didelot said.
Children attended the CDC Kindergarten Readiness program from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at no cost to the parents. Transportation and meals were provided to each student.
“Our program provides children with a safe environment to learn, grow, and socialize. Because our staff to child ratio is higher than most, we have more time for one-on-one interactions with each child. Staff members take personal interests in the children and see to it that their individual needs are met,” Didelot explained.
Some challenges that students face with school are inconsistency, food insecurity, and family factors. Things that happen outside of school impact the child’s ability to learn and develop while at school. CAP teachers try their best to break these barriers and make learning a positive and exciting experience for all the students.
“They have smaller numbers at the school so CAP staff can make things more personal. This helped my child reach her learning goals,” said Stephanie Richardson, a teacher’s assistant with CAP, and a parent of a CDC student.
For additional information about early childhood education programming at CAP’s CDC, visit https://www.christianapp.org/child-family-development-centers.