April 2023

St. Louis Region 13 Community Leader Approach

Helping area families ensure their children are safe, healthy, and ready to learn!

Ready Communities

Did you know that the St. Louis Community has been working on strengthening the support offered to children and families as they navigate early childhood and school readiness for several years?

When we were first approached by the state of MO to lead a regional community approach towards school readiness we looked to the research that has been done to help plan for our future.

Two helpful and informative research projects rooted in identifying community need right here in St. Louis that we used to start the conversation were:

  1. The First Steps to Equity Report
  2. The University of Missouri Early Childhood Needs Assessment

These projects were complete prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and provided a deep understanding of the landscape for our children and families. Since then we have continued the conversation with families, schools, child care programs, service providers, and other community stakeholders to further understand the needs post pandemic.

We are now working within our community to identify and implement solutions to meet the needs of our children and families. One of these solutions is to increase community awareness of the needs. You can help be a part of this solutions by:

  • Sharing this newsletter with someone you know!
  • Sharing the research with someone you know!

As mentioned in the last newsletter one of our primary goals is to learn what meetings and conversations are already happening around early childhood in St. Louis. Take this short SURVEY to share about your meeting!

Ready Families

You have the power to understand all about your child's development! Their development is tracked by looking at milestones, which are age related tasks most children do at that age. We know all children and families are unique so it's great for families to have champions as they celebrate milestones and to ask questions about their child. Those champions can include teachers, child care providers, doctors, Parents as Teachers, and many others who support children and families.

Learn about Developmental Milestones

Do you work with families and want to better learn how to support their understanding of development? If so, consider joining a free 2 hour session to learn just that!

To access this session you need to have attended the MO Milestones Matter training.

Sessions are happening across the state and you can sign up HERE.

A DIAL 4 Screening Kits will be provided to one person from each organization.

For questions please contact Diane Addison at: daddison@missouripat.org

Class Objectives for Supporting Families Through Developmental Screenings:

  • The role of early childhood professionals in the developmental screening process
  • The elements of developmental screenings
  • Talking with families about developmental screenings
  • Connecting families with resources and referrals
  • Developing partnerships in your community to conduct developmental screenings

The QR code below shares more information!

Ready Schools

The MO Early Connections website tells us that ready schools provide families and children with the educational, physical and mental health supports they need to be successful. Ready schools include administrators, teachers, and other professionals who understand that children come to school with a range of readiness skills and are prepared to provide high quality educational programs for all children including English Language Learners, children with disabilities, children living in poverty, and children with behavioral challenges.

One of the indicators to assess for this type of readiness is that the district include policies for transitioning to kindergarten. One of the goals of the Community Leader work is to verify if districts in Region 13 have these policies and report findings to the Office of Childhood. We will be connecting with each district over the next month.

Get caught up on things happening with the Office of Childhood by viewing their most recent monthly webinar.

Upcoming Activities

April 3-8

Week of the Young Child- show your SPIRIT!!!!

April 4

Safe Sleep Champion Training with Infant Loss Resources

April 8

Week of the Young Child Celebration Event- Explore your 5 Senses with activities, music, food, and fun.

April 12 at Grant's View Branch Library

I Help STL Volunteer Information Night- Immigrant Home English Learning Program (IHELP) is looking for volunteers who share our vision of a diverse and inclusive community where all immigrants are empowered through language. IHELP has been providing one-on-one, in-home English lessons to immigrant and refugee adults in the St. Louis area since 1995. In 2022, we launched our youth program pilot, currently serving preselected K-5th graders in the South City and Maryland Heights areas. As our youth program grows, so does our need for volunteers to teach two in-home or virtual, fun-packed, one-hour lessons per week. No teaching or second language experience required- we provide orientation and curriculum training! If you want to learn more about getting involved, we'd love to see you at one of our two upcoming Info Sessions or check out our website at ihelpstl.org

April 29

Early Educator Appreciation Event

May 16

Safe Sleep Champion Training with Infant Loss Resources

May 17

Poverty Simulator from 8am-12pm with Healthy Blue MO at the YWCA Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center. For details and to RSVP contact Natalie- natalie.redmond@healthybluemo.com


Early Connections

Join the Office of Childhood Email List

Nominate an Educator