Early Education Symposium Looks at Ways to Improve Programs in Central Va.
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Teachers, educators, and school board members came together at Farmington Country Club on Monday, June 10, to learn new ways to improve early education programs in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.
According to research, 90% of brain development happens before age five.
Organizers say that’s why Monday’s symposium on early childhood education matters.
“We need to dramatically expand access to programming and make sure that there is consistent quality and support for all of our teachers across those programs,” Jenna Conway, the chief school readiness officer for the commonwealth of Virginia, said.
Conway says only four out of 10 children entering kindergarten are ready for this big step.
“A part of that challenge is making sure that every child has access to a high-quality early childhood experience,” Conway said.
William White is a graduate assistant at the University of Washington and says issues occur both in school and out of school.
“Just knowing the events that have occurred in Charlottesville the past two years, I said if I can come make an impact and really teach intentionally how we need to do social, emotional learning, if I can come and do a speech on implicit bias and how that impacts classrooms especially for black boys and brown boys, then I'm going to do that," White said.
Kelly Bullock has been a teacher for more than 33 years and currently works at Clark Elementary.
“So learning how I can use literature to help - maybe a strong thing for the kids and I just want to be there for them and help them be able to express themselves and be able to make me understand so I can help them be the best they can be,” Bullock said.
White emphasizes the saying of “it takes a village to raise a child.”
“Also having parents understand, ‘hey this work going on at school, we have to do it at home as well, so it’s just collaborating and creating that community so that we have a community of learners so that we can actually go to the next level," White said.
If you have a little one at home and want more information on early childhood education, click here.