Gwinnett County Public Schools just blocked a major federal grant that will help support young children before they even start kindergarten.
$770,000 in federal tax dollars will help support “Building Babies’ Brains”.
The idea is to inspire parents to become their children’s best teacher before they even start school in “play to learn” classrooms like the one at Lovin Elementary School in Lawrenceville.
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It’s a spin-off from the “Building Babies’ Brains” initiative, where every Friday for 90 minutes, certified teachers sit down with parents and their children from birth to age 5 to work on building skills. development as they grow through the school system.
Lovin’s manager Kevin Payne said the program was a success.
“It gives us the opportunity to work with our families to prepare students for readiness to learn,” he said. “What they’re doing is looking at some of the best practices, to help with students’ cognitive development, socialization, motor skills.”
Jared Martin and his 3-year-old daughter, Ariana, worked on an art project on Friday.
He said it was a way to get her to hang out with other kids his age. This is something they couldn’t do at the start of the pandemic.
“They did something last week where they planted seeds and taught them how plants grow,” Martin said.
MP Carolyn Bourdeaux was on hand to see how it all worked.
“We know that if we give these opportunities to children, they start school much stronger and it affects their performance throughout school,” she said.
Twenty families are registered with Lovin. The district said that with the grant money, it would support all elementary schools with similar programs.
It’s something the parents have said they want to see.
“Anytime there are programs for kids to grow and learn, I think that’s impactful and important,” Martin said.
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Data from 2020 shows that 52% of Gwinnett students entered kindergarten unprepared.
The goal is to equip more students with the skills needed to get a head start on entering primary school.
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