Investing in the Success of Young Children
In laying the foundation for success in school and beyond, the ages between birth to eight are the most critical in a child's development. Ensuring young children have access to quality early learning environments, regardless of race, income or geography, provides many proven individual and societal benefits. Yet, kindergarten teachers report that half of the children entering their classrooms today are not prepared to succeed. And only 26 percent of Arizona's and 33 percent of Florida's fourth graders are proficient in reading. Helios believes that by strengthening early childhood systems to promote language acquisition and emergent literacy for children, birth through age eight, more Arizona and Florida children will enter kindergarten ready to succeed and be reading at grade level by the end of third grade. As a result, we contribute our leadership, expertise, partnership and resources to:
Foster Collaborative and Sustainable Early Childhood Education Systems
We will cultivate strategic partnerships and facilitate community education in order to build support and alignment for shared goals, collective processes, aligned measurement and reporting systems, and cross-sector coordination resulting in high quality teachers and early learning environments.
Improve Access and Quality of Early Childhood Professional Development
We will improve early childhood professional development focused on emergent literacy and language acquisition skills and knowledge as well as classroom application by teachers, administrators and practitioners working with children birth through age eight. Helios will identify community partners and incorporate research-based best practices to facilitate alignment, consistency, and ultimately, student preparedness and success.
Bridge Early Childhood and K-3 Education
We will foster collaboration amongst early childhood education teachers and practitioners, and K-3 educators to increase the successful transition of young children by aligning professional development and curriculum, with an emphasis on emergent literacy and language acquisition.