By Anne E. Mead, M. Ed
Parents are their child’s first teacher!! No one can replace that. When I think about a child’s first teacher, it may be a parent, grandparents, guardian or another caregiver who is responsible for the loving care of a child.
Like the difference in who raises us, our families are different as well. Each comes with its positive strengths and wealthy history that the family has experienced. The wealth of diversity that we all share makes up the wonderful elements of our community.
Our Danbury community wants only the finest for each one of them. “It takes a village” highlights how important it is for a community to rally around its next generation. When a community rallies for the good of the next generation, wonderful things happen and our children become successful.
This column is about our community and its children and the wealth of resources and services to support our growing population. It is my hope and intention that parents will let me know what they want to learn about, how we can support them and what they are thinking. When I say “we,” I am talking about Danbury Public Schools (DPS), the Danbury Family Learning Center, Inc. (DFLC), our Family Resource Centers and community-based service providers.
In this issue, I talk about the wealth of resources the schools offer for families with children under the age of five. The Danbury Family Learning Center, often referred to as the “hidden gem of Danbury,” hosts playgroups for children under five. The playgroups are a time for children and their parents to play and meet other families under the guidance of a family educator. Circle time, reading, art activities and snack are offered during seven different free sessions throughout locations in Danbury.
DPS’s School Readiness Program for ages 3-5, five days week is for parents who need full time care. Children are enrolled throughout the year to learn about making friends, learning to work in a classroom setting while being actively engaged in learning centers: housekeeping, blocks, arts, music and many others. The warm and nurturing staff provides an environment where children are active learners.
DPS also offers a part-day Early Childhood Program for ages 3-5. Children serve as role models and join students with special learning needs in a quality, integrated exciting preschool.
Lastly, the Family Resource Centers at Morris St and South St Schools are hubs for family services at the school. They offer playgroups, home visits, resource and referral, and support their school’s educational family engagement programs.
As you can see, Danbury has wonderful resources for our youngest children and their families. In future issues, I will talk about child growth and development, as well as topics that you ask about. For more information, feel free to the call the DFLC at 203-797-4734, check out the website at http://www.danbury.k12.ct.us/ELP/EL/Family_Learning_Center.html or email me at email@example.com. We all look forward to working with you and as your child’s first teacher, we encourage you to become part of the active village raising our children.
Anne E. Mead, M. Ed. is the Administrator for Early Childhood Education and Extended Learning Programs of the Danbury Public Schools. If you have any questions please feel free to contact her at 203-830-6508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.