The KET Early Childhood Education team couldn’t succeed without the support of the community. They arrive at each Ready to Learn event as prepared as they can and with a seemingly endless energy supply, but it is the families and community partners that really bring the sessions to life.
Watch this short video to hear from some of our community partners on their experiences with the Ready to Learn programs in their areas.
The Ready to Learn resources allow the KET team to really tailor each event to the needs of that specific community. For example, Sam Johnson, Director Youth Development and Education for the Louisville Urban League, already had a newly created program in place at Roosevelt Perry Elementary but he was looking to add some more hands and additional learning content for these families. KET Early Childhood was able to bring the Ruff Ruffman Family and Community Learning workshop to the table, knowing that the activities and learning opportunities there would fulfill the needs of this specific community.
One of the programs facilitators, Mahogany Mayfield, with Play Cousins Collective, was amazed most by seeing the families engage in learning together and how the adults were even jumping in and assisting with the teaching. It is fun to watch that “ah-ha” moment when families realize that science is actually something we do every day.
Mahogany also commented on how accessible the lessons are to repeating at home. For the scientific explorations you can use what you have in your recycling bin so it doesn’t have to be expensive or hard. By keeping materials easy to get and concepts accessible, families feel empowered to continue learning on their own.
In Eastern Kentucky, the community needs were different. Sharon Collins, Family Resource Coordinator, had experience with the Odd Squad camp last fall. She knew she wanted that quality learning event back in her community. After contacting the principal of May Valley Elementary and reaching out to KET, they decided together that the best fit would be the Sensational Science Camp with Ruff Ruffman. By hosting it at a Summer Food Service Program location, they were able to doubly serve the children in their community.
Families remembered the quality of the programs that KET had previously brought to their hometown and there was a waiting list for the camp almost immediately. They also showed up en mass to volunteer with grandparents, parents, community leaders, and teachers all lending a hand to making the camp a success for everyone involved. Sharon wasn’t surprised at the consistent turn out and enthusiasm, she had seen it before with Odd Squad.
It’s this pride in their communities that makes Ready to Learn work across the Commonwealth. Without the collaboration and passion from the community leaders, KET Early Childhood Education wouldn’t be able to reach the kids and their families in the same way. It’s the trust and continually expanding partnerships that will ensure these programs continue to be sought out and scheduled.