• IDRA Newsletter • September 2012 •
November 8, 2012, at Texas State University, San Marcos
This symposium will focus on early childhood education in recognition of Lady Bird Johnson’s work as the honorary chair of the board of the original Head Start program. Quality early education can have a profound impact that lasts a lifetime in terms of preparing students for academic success, teaching fundamental reading and math skills, and developing social and cognitive strengths that are important for school, college and the world of work. Research has shown that children who receive high-quality early education earn higher test scores, complete more years of education and are more likely to attend a four-year college. These children also demonstrate higher academic achievement in both reading and math from the primary grades through young adulthood. Based on the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2010 Kids Count data, low-income and English learners who receive high-quality pre-K programs demonstrate the highest gains and greatest reductions in achievement gaps, and yield some of the most substantial improvements in school performance.
On November 8, 2012, Texas State University is hosting a symposium for dialogue and action planning around this important issue. IDRA’s President, Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel was recently interviewed by Emmy-award winning producer Robert Currie for a video production being developed as part of the planned events, in which IDRA will collaborate.
Over 30 years of research have proven that bilingual education, when implemented well, is the best way to learn English and children in such programs achieve higher academic standards. Yet there is a lack of culturally-relevant bilingual Spanish-English materials for children, families, caregivers and educators. IDRA’s Semillitas de aprendizaje™ represents a new era of early childhood education and helps teachers to foster literacy, cognitive skills and social-emotional development by supporting children as they exercise their curiosity and bring their own experiences into each lesson.
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[©2012, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the September 2012 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]