WEBINAR: EARLY CHILDHOOD & FAMILY ENGAGEMENT
The list of resources and webinar were presented in September 2017, as part of an Early Childhood Education resource group for the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice.
Great Lakes Bay Region STEM Ecosystem has developed a number of initiatives to support STEM learning opportunities for families and young children. Examples include:
- STEM Lending Library for early childhood educators, including preschools and child care programs.
- The Imagination Playground recently created in partnership with the Bay County Historical Society & Museum.
- GLBR partnership with Bedtime Math and the introduction of Bedtime Math at Parent-Teacher Conferences.
- OST STEM Network Livebinder.
- Midland Center for the Arts (new Spark!Lap Smithsonian) exhibit
- Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum
- Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square
- Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum
Great Lakes Bay Ecosystem Leaders Discuss their Early Childhood Initiatives: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iw0mEOet2A
EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM HIGHLIGHT – MATH IN THE MAIL
Six times each year, the Great Lakes Bay STEM Ecosystem sends math kits home to the families of 3 year-olds living in families considered to be low-income.
Math in the Mail aims to remove anxiety for parents who fear that they aren’t skilled with math. “It’s also seeks to boost engagement between the parent and child,” says Lori Flippin, STEM Initiative leader for the Great Lakes Bay Region STEM Alliance.
Flippin says that since the program’s inception the ecosystem is always looking at its effectiveness and areas where it can improve.
“We were concerned that there were populations – especially in one particular county – where the parents may not have the abilities to use those kits,” says Flippin, explaining that they are now working with families in rescue missions and homeless shelters.
EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM HIGHLIGHT – BEDTIME MATH
Bedtime Math is an Out-Of-School Time program which targets children between 3 and 8 years old. This free program encourages continued practice of math skills at home during a crucial time in a child’s intellectual development.