HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (4/2/13) – On Saturday March 30th, the Hopkins County Community Early Childhood Council sponsored their School Readiness Fair. This event was funded by the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood.
Three years ago, April Grace and Beth Moore got together and formed the Hopkins County Early Childhood Council and rewrote the bi-laws. “There hasn’t been a council since three years prior to when we formed it,” stated April Grace, the IECE Program Coordinator at Madisonville Community College. Before they formed this new council, there was no money coming to Hopkins County for children from birth to five years of age. So the ladies sat down and revived the council and focused mainly on the children and families that weren’t receiving the services they needed. “This year’s grant, and year’s to follow will be used on school readiness. The school readiness scores have just come out from last year and the screenings show that so many percentages in each of the counties, kids are not ready to start school,” expressed Grace.
The Governor’s office allotted money to families within Kentucky, and depending on the county one is from, children from birth to five years receive a certain amount. This year, Hopkins County was granted $25,000. Grace stated, “Basically our focus is on the development of ages birth to five years of age, which is a critical time on the brain development.” Most children learn their fundamentals by the age of five. “We really wanted to make sure we covered everything from social, emotional, pre-math, science and reading skills at the booths. Every parent wants their child to learn their ABCs and 123s, but there is more to reading than just that. That is what we are here for, to show parents the things they can do at the different booths with their kids at home to help with pre-skills. So once they can learn these skills they can be introduced, not forced into writing,” continued Grace.
Some of the booths took a more creative approach, such as; building with boxes to teach problem solving and how open-ended art is more important than just coloring in a sheet of paper. “A lot of families don’t realize the importance of media art, so we are trying to teach them this. Each booth is geared toward something whether it’s for fine motor skills, gross motor skills, or physical fitness, these things are important to the growing brain. This is just a great opportunity to expose families to that,” expressed Grace.
Photos Provided by Amber Mena
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