ELM provides parents with hands-on interactive workshops (our workshops are too much fun to call them “work”!) in which we demonstrate age appropriate activities and effective techniques for parent-child interaction, as well as giving parents information about child development.
Certified teachers lead the workshops in which each parent receives age-appropriate children’s books, educational toys, and ideas for activities to do with their children. After the workshop, parents have access to individualized support to provide encouragement and answer questions. A collective and united effort of multiple groups within the community is essential to the success of an Early Learning Matters program. These partnerships not only help in referring the correct people to the program, but also help in carrying forward the results of the program by connecting the dots between.
We have also created a brochure that can be placed at different locations within the community and that can be given out by our targetted recruiters.
School Counselors are an excellent resource when finding participants for an Early Learning Matters program in your community. They are often familiar with both the students and their families, which can often times lead to younger siblings who may be within the 0-5 age range. Counselors can also readily identify the families that would be most positively impacted by an Early Learning Matters program.
Public Health Nurses
Through their involvement the community, and with a wide range of people, Public Health Nurses are a wealth of information when searching for Early Learning Matters participants in your community. They can help identify at-risk families and families that have recently had children.
Day Care Providers
Day Care Providers are an excellent resource when finding participants for an Early Learning Matters program in your community. They are often the most familiar with the children in their care, as well of their families. Day Care Providers are often the first contact and can readily identify the families that would be most positively impacted by the Early Learning Matters program.
Much like School Counselors, teachers often know their students and the families from which they come. As a result, they can often identify families with younger children who may benefit from the Early Learning Matters Program.
As their children’s first teachers, Parents are an excellent resource when looking for participants in the Early Learning Matters program. Also, parents involved in the schools can help identify other students and parents who might be great matches for Early Learning Matters workshops.
When it comes to fundraising, local businesses can be an excellent resource for Early Learning Matters. Though some communities have used Public Education funds for the Early Learning Matters workshops, others need to raise private money in order to get the program up and running. In those cases, it is important that you explain to businesses that early childhood education has a significant and tangible financial impact on businesses and communities. For further resources in communicating this message, please download this document.
Religious and Cultural Groups
It is important to connect with many facets of the community in searching for participants and funding for an Early Learning Matters program. It is important to include Tribal organizations in this search when working on or near a Reservation. For many, if a recommendation to participate in a program comes through a religious group, it may seem a less threatening invitation and may yield greater results with turnout.
For young parents working to get their GED, the field of early learning education may seem a bit overwhelming. Teachers and administrators involved in GED programs can provide Early Learning Matters volunteers names of individuals who might welcome additional support for the early development of their child or children.
For the significant number of unemployed parents in today’s economy, the stress surrounding joblessness and the search for employment can be all-consuming. In many cases, Unemployment Services may see first-hand the families who could truly benefit from Early Learning Matters workshops.
As a public facility open to all citizens, the Public Library is a great place to publicize Early Learning Matters workshops. Also, young readers programs and other community groups who meet at public libraries may be resources to reach out to different groups of parents.
Parents receiving WIC benefits often represent a very appropriate group for Early Learning Matters workshops. If your community office allows it, putting information there about the program may be a great way to get the word out about upcoming workshops as well.
By working with many families in crisis, Social Workers automatically know a large group of people who would likely benefit from the Early Learning Matters program. Additionally, the services offered in workshops may support many of the efforts the Social Workers are making with the families who attend.