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Toolkit Helps Parents Explore Early Childhood at Everett Elementary

Michelle Suarez, Prosper Lincoln's Early Childhood Developer, is finishing a pilot curriculum at Everett Elementary that she calls "Strengthening Families." This early childhood toolkit is designed to help educate parents on the importance of early childhood education.

Parents of young children meet for 2 hours per week, exploring a different topic such as nurturing, social connections, support and parental resilience. After learning about the day’s topic, parents learn about a book they can share with their child and do a related hands-on STEM activity that they replicate at home.

“One of our strategic goals is to help the community become aware of what early childhood development looks like,” Suarez said. “Absent the funds for a broad >media campaign, this curriculum helps to educate parents at a grassroots level.”

All of the participants in the Everett pilot are immigrant and refugee families who speak Kurdish, Karen, Arabic or Spanish. Bilingual liaisons help to communicate the information.

Participating parents share that it is helpful to know about techniques to engage with their children. They also share that they are interested in teaching other parents about the importance of the early years and that they would like to share the games they played when they were children. Suarez hopes to share the curriculum, books and supplies with other schools to replicate the program.

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