Energizing Early Learning
"Here comes the Between the Lions lady!" shouted a child in a Jackson, Mississippi childcare center. The "Between the Lions lady" was a mentor from Mississippi Public Broadcasting's (MPB) Preschool Literacy Initiative.
MPB provides resources, expertise and encouragement to childcare centers serving Mississippi's neediest children with the help of its partners - the Barksdale Reading Institute, WGBH-Boston, Sirius Thinking. Ltd., and Mississippi State University's Early Childhood Institute.
Through the partners' combined resources, MPB provided on-site mentoring in childcare centers, reaching 30 classrooms over 96 hours per week. Mentors modeled teaching methods and provided books, materials, and an early reading skills curriculum using Between the Lions programs.
"In these centers," Broom said, "MPB's specialists helped the teachers in a world of ways - from organizing their classrooms to enhancing language experiences."
At Dotty's Daycare in Jackson, Mississippi, MPB mentors and Between the Lions curriculum changed Quarquerite Lowe's classroom. "Our mentor helped us with everything," Lowe said. "She didn't come to criticize, she came to help."
Dotty's Daycare now gives parents read-at-home resources developed by MPB. Songs, books, and games like alphabet "Fish" teach phonics.
"I've changed," Lowe said. "We've all changed. We have an environment conducive to learning now."