The SEI YMCA Learning Center will develop a plan to align their math and reading curriculum with the BCSC’s Little Bulldog Academy.
(Batesville, Ind.) – A new partnership between two local community leaders in preschool education will provide a coordinated curriculum for spring students, said Angie Harmeyer, chief executive officer of Southeastern Indiana YMCA and Melissa Burton, assistant superintendent of Batesville Community School Corporation ( BCSC), known. As part of an Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) Student Learning Recovery Grant, the Southeastern Indiana YMCA Learning Center will develop a plan to align its math and reading curriculum with the BCSC’s Little Bulldog Academy to allow for a seamless transition when the YMCA changes – Students enroll in BCSC Kindergarten.
“We are excited to partner with the YMCA on this community initiative,” said Burton. “Batesville Primary School’s Little Bulldog Academy (BPS) and the YMCA Learning Center will both employ Amplify’s Core Knowledge Language Arts curriculum and provide in-depth background knowledge for understanding learning. Since the pandemic has disrupted learning progress for many over the past two years, it is a good time to adapt our preschool curricula so that parents are familiar with the programs we use in kindergarten. “
“As a community cornerstone of childcare, most families in our learning center stay with us during the pre-school years,” added Harmeyer. “This new partnership enables our students to achieve lifelong academic success by aligning our curriculum with what they will see when they enter BCSC Kindergarten. We are pleased to be able to work together with the school society on this new initiative. “
Amplify’s Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) combines the development of reading skills with diverse content knowledge in history, science, literature and the arts. The conscious handling of background knowledge invites the students to dig deeper and make connections across content areas. The CKLA curriculum aids understanding by drawing on this broad knowledge base and helping students understand complex texts.
With a portion of the scholarship granted, BCSC and the YMCA will purchase the curriculum for the Little Bulldog Academy and YMCA Learning Center and provide both schools with teaching materials, training and equipment to implement the new language arts program. In addition, detailed pre-school mathematics lesson plans on the sense of numbers are being developed, which tie in with the mathematics curriculum already used at the BPS.
In addition to these kindergarten preparedness plans, the IDOE scholarship also provides funding to address student learning loss and emotional difficulties caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Grant funds are used to help students in difficulty and to train BCSC staff on social or emotional issues.
“Undergraduate students or students emotionally affected by the abrupt changes caused by COVID-19 – we’re putting programs in place to help them succeed,” said Burton. “Successful coaches will help those who have fallen behind. The summer school includes STEAM activities from the Kids Discovery Factory to activate your mind and Y fitness units to keep your body active. The Indiana Institute on Disability and Community will provide training to our staff to help students emotionally struggling through the pandemic. We will also hire a therapist to provide more assistance in treating these issues.
“We’re taking a multi-faceted approach to helping our students achieve success through these scholarships,” added Burton. “Almost two years after COVID-19 first affected our students, we are still seeing effects, both academically and emotionally. We will help these current and future students by ensuring they have the academic and psychological resources necessary to meet their needs. “
“The YMCA is pleased to be BCSC’s main partner in this fellowship,” concluded Harmeyer. “Our mission is to strengthen the foundations of the southeast Indiana community and develop the potential of children. This realigned curriculum project with BCSC is another notable collaboration within the Batesville community that benefits our youth. In addition to our initiatives for a healthy lifestyle, we are pleased to be able to offer our Y-families this new educational opportunity for their preschool children. “