Learning Is Not Only for Children and Families at the Early Learning Center
Registration for the Edina Early Learning Center’s 2019-20 School Year opens Tuesday, February 5 at 8:00 am.
The Early Learning Center (ELC) works to ensure that all of our youngest learners enjoy the best possible start in learning and in life. Classes for children birth through pre-Kindergarten help young learners develop critical thinking skills and foster growth socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually. Many infant, toddler and pre-school classes offer an Early Childhood Family Education component, to help parents grow their parenting skills and expand their community networks. See our at-a-glance overview of 2019-20 classes here.
While the ELC is best known as a place where children and families learn and grow together, learning is also front and center for ELC staff. One current area of focus for staff learning and professional development is the Pyramid Model, a framework of evidence-based practices for promoting young children’s healthy social and emotional development. Teachers are excited about the learning, which reaffirms the good work they already do while adding innovative and proven strategies for working with children.
“What’s amazing is the Pyramid Model empowers teachers to teach kids to feel empowered in their lives,” says Leah Byrd, Early Childhood Program Coordinator. “The real benefit is a focus on using consistent language for students, families and staff, so there are consistent expectations. When everyone is using the same language, students know and feel they have some control over what is going to happen when there is the inevitable problem.”
The Pyramid Model arrived in the Edina ELC classrooms as a result of a grant. ELC administrators began research on Pyramid Model in summer 2015. They were interested in implementing the Pyramid Model because of its proven history. In collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Centers of Excellence (MNCoE), ELC was selected to receive $56,100 for staff training (including skilled trainers, external coaches, and training for internal coaches) to implement the Pyramid Model over the course of five years. In addition, shared information and support allows ELC staff to collect and use Pyramid Model data effectively for ongoing program decision making.
“This model has been around a long time,” says Byrd. “It is sustainable and has long-lasting effects, and we are excited for all of our students and staff at the Early Learning Center to reap its benefits.”