Introducing Ready By Six

Posted on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 10:46 pm

As battle lines are being drawn across the nation over the direction of education, one thing remains crystal clear: Increased rigor is changing the dynamics of education.

As a result, students are now required, more than ever, to begin their academic careers with a certain baseline level of readiness to ensure success.

Enter Ready By Six, a partnership of education like stakeholders dedicated to broadening the parents and the community’s awareness of skills needed to be fully ready to succeed in school and providing resources to assist parents in ensuring their children are school ready.

School readiness is a multi-dimensional concept designed to give children important advantages as they begin their education careers. It is clear students who begin school with early skills, basic math and reading knowledge, are more likely to experience later academic success, attain higher levels of education and secure employment.

Ready By Six’s aim is to increase the number of students entering school with these advantages in their corner.

The National Education Goals Panel explains school readiness as encompassing five dimensions. These include:

• Physical wellbeing and motor development

• Social and emotional development

• Approaches to learning

• Language development – including early literacy

• Cognition and general knowledge

Also, it is important to note that while cognitive development and early literacy are important to academic success, social development, health and engagement skills may be equally important. Essentially, this means that if a child is socially unprepared for school success, then they can struggle as much as a child that is unprepared in reading or math skills.

Over the next few months, the Citizen Tribune is partnering with HC*EXCEL to provide a weekly look into the mechanics of achieving Ready by Six status and the positive results attainable through this effort.

Experts in a variety of fields will share their thoughts on specific areas of early education development, techniques, results and what all of these can mean for Hamblen County.

The objective is to convene preschool caregivers and stakeholders to develop a strategy to better prepare Hamblen County children to be ready for school by six years of age.

“We’re excited to be part of the project,” said Tribune Editor/Publisher R. Michael Fishman. “Early education is the key to later academic success. Our state is going through a sea-change in terms of education rigor and we want to do everything we can to help ensure our students succeed in this new environment. Having students who enter first grade read to hit the ground running will benefit students, schools, parents and our community as a whole.”

- From Staff Reports

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