Reprinted from the Wayne County Schools website.
Building a tower using straws, paper clips, and tape isn’t easy under normal circumstances. But trying building it the tallest and cheapest when you have to purchase all the materials at different costs. Now you have a math and science skills competition on your hands. Nearly fifteen representatives from child care organizations across Wayne County participated in the activity as part of outreach training for the North Carolina Partnership for Improving Mathematics and Science, or PIMS, grant.
Picture: (L, bottom, then goes counterclockwise) Winter McNeill, D.S. Simmons Academy; Mary McKoy, Title I Parent Facilitator WCPS; Sherrie McDonald, Cumberland County Schools & NC PIMS; Carrie Everett, St. James AME; and (L, top) Onita Baker, St. Mark Zion Church
Facilitators provided the instruction at Goldsboro Middle School on Monday, June 6 as part of the grant that Wayne County Public Schools has been participating in for professional staff development in math and science. This hands-on math activity demonstrated the many possibilities teachers in child care programs can do with students in the summer to keep their skills from getting rusty during the time off from school. “They know they’re teaching exactly what the children are learning in the schools,” said N.C. PIMS facilitator, Lori Stancil.
Extending the training to child care providers makes sense. Because the activities teachers gain are aligned with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, teachers at child care organizations can reinforce concepts that teachers work with students on throughout the year. “This is a tool that summer providers can use to help children. They are reinforcing skills and concepts that will be assessed on the End-of-Grade tests,” said Dr. Willette Wooten, Director of Federal Programs for Wayne County Public Schools. Activities are designed for outdoor or indoor use.
“We think this is one of those keys to keeping them interested in it. They see that it’s part of their everyday life,” said Joann Fitchett, another PIMS facilitator instructing the providers. “They’re getting more exposure to the same concepts, sometimes in different ways.”
With a host of child care providers in Wayne County, the outreach will certainly benefit students. On Monday, participants represented private child care centers, churches, faith-based organizations, and community agencies. All of them received a lesson manual complete with instructions for activities and goals and objectives of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for kindergarten through eighth grade.
Christy Barnes, a program specialist with The Partnership for Children of Wayne County, found the training helpful. Her organization provides technical assistance and trains the more than 140 child care providers in Wayne County. While child care providers are not required to teach according to the state’s curriculum, Barnes is confident this exposure to the curriculum will assist child care providers in their instruction.