School Readiness episodes focus on the research, resources, and programs that highlight the importance of ensuring that children have access to the best available resources prior to entering school and that schools are ready to support all children at their varying developmental levels.

Episode 48: Interview with Paula Stewart

In this episode, Early and Elementary Learning Specialists, Sam Statler and Kerri Templeton, are joined by Paula Stewart, an Infant/Toddler Specialist. Paula brings light to the importance of a toddler’s social and emotional well-being. She also shares several strategies a caregiver could use during their daily routine to help foster the learn.

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Episode 47: Strengthening School Readiness Skills from Infancy

Not sure how to work on school readiness skills with an infant or toddler? Tune in to hear from three of the Early and Elementary Learning Specialists as they discuss how you can help support language and literacy skills, thinking skills, and even help instill self-confidence in our youngest learners.

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Episode 46: Interview with Melinda Mack

Using project work to integrate early literacy and early math in your classroom may sound like a daunting task, but allowing your students interests to be heard and exploring them more in depth can make learning fun AND engaging. If you have been debating using project work in your classroom, our special guest shares a plethora of suggestions and ideas from her own classroom experiences.

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Episode 45: How to Integrate Early Literacy and Early Numeracy

In our previous podcast episode, we discussed the importance of integrating early literacy and numeracy. In this episode, early and elementary learning specialists Becky Lewis, Sam Statler, and Amber Myers discuss the “how” of integrating these two topics as it pertains to early educators and other childcare providers serving children from birth to age six.

Integration of these content areas can be used in all classrooms and grade levels, but this episode focuses primarily on the early years. Amber shares her knowledge and personal experiences from her time in the PreK and Kindergarten classroom and talks in depth about using a project approach to integrating literacy and math. By allowing our students to ask questions and facilitate collaborative conversations, we are helping them establish an educational foundation. Taking the time to listen to students’ questions and tap into their interests, teachers are creating strong relationships and trust with their students. Tune in to hear more about using a project approach to integrate literacy and math into your classroom.

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Episode 44: Interview with Kristy Ritz

Tune in to listen to special guest Kristy Ritz discuss how community organizations can support families with early childhood development. Kristy is the Program Director at Choices Child Care Resource and Referral. This agency is a program of River Valley Child Development Services and serves eight counties in WV including Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Pleasants, Ritchie, and Wood counties.

Kristy discusses the importance of focusing on young children’s social and emotional well-being, and her mission to help the community, which compliments West Virginia’s definition of school readiness. She also discusses how her agency shares information with families and strives to make connections with the families in the community. Choices Child Care Resource and Referral offers resources such as professional learning for childcare providers, as well as financial supports and general information related to child development for all families. This includes: Public pre-k programs (WV Universal Pre-K Programs that are operated in collaboration with childcare centers) are also eligible to utilize these services.

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Episode 43: Supporting Caregivers with Intentional Development of Early Literacy and Early Numeracy in Young Learners

Both early literacy and early numeracy play an important role in developing the minds of our young children. Even though some may believe that these are two separate concepts, they are naturally connected. Both concepts include spoken and written language, and both are grounded in the foundation of oral language through conversations and vocabulary development. It is critical for community organizations and educators to support parents and caregivers with this understanding of early numeracy and early literacy and how to intentionally work with their young learners to develop these skills.

Today, Becky, Sam, and Brandie discuss the importance of early literacy and numeracy. They also share some ideas on how to partner with families to build and develop those skills within their children.

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Episode 31: Interview with Amanda Peyton

In education, family engagement and family involvement are often used interchangeably; however, the distinction between these two terms is crucial to understand how to build strong, meaningful partnerships with parents and families.

Today, Blake Turley and I sit down with fellow West Virginia Educator, Amanda Peyton, to talk more about parent and family engagement. Amanda provides a great perspective on the difference between involving families and engaging them, along with some simple yet impactful examples of how McDowell County educators are building strong partnerships with their families.

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Episode 26: Interview with Dan Torres and Cathryn Miller

It is never too early to begin supporting the healthy growth and development of a child. The first years of a child’s life are a period of incredible growth and development. By building relationships as well as social and emotional skills, caregivers can promote healthy brain development and set the stage for future learning success.

Today, Brandie and I are fortunate to sit down with Dan Torres and Cathryn Miller to continue our discussion on building foundational interactions to support child development. Listen as Dan and Cathryn share simple tools and tips that caregivers of young children can incorporate into their daily routines to begin developing these positive interactions from birth.

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Episode 25: Building Foundational Interactions to Support Child Development

Building foundational interactions with young children is not only crucial to their development but it is also vital for future success. Building these foundational interactions to support a child’s development is not only limited to parents and caregivers but successful development of these foundational interactions is also dependent upon the types of interactions that young children receive from child-care centers, preschool teachers, and any adult who interacts with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Today, fellow Early Literacy Specialist, Brandie Turner, joins us on the show to discuss why foundational interactions are so important to support child development. We talk about easy ways that we can foster these interactions during everyday routines.

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Episode 5: Interview with Nancy Hanna

School readiness begins at birth and truly embodies the African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child.”
Today, Maggie Luma and I interview Nancy Hanna, the Associate Superintendent for Greenbrier County Schools to discuss school readiness and how Greenbrier County has pulled together their own village to provide school readiness support to local children.

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Episode 4: Ready, Set, Go! WV

School readiness begins at birth and is not just a set of skills that young children need to have in place prior to entering school. Today, Maggie Luma and I sit down with Lisa Fisher from the West Virginia Department of Education to define the meaning of school readiness and talk extensively about the West Virginia school readiness framework, Ready, Set, Go! WV, and how it is reshaping the school readiness approach in the Mountain State.

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Browse past episodes by Campaign for Grade-Level Reading category:

School Readiness

Attendance

Extended Learning

High-Quality Instruction

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