Our primary focus is enhancing oral language, early reading, and cognitive skills of preschool-age children while educating and modeling for parents how to be their child’s first teacher and strongest advocate. At The Learning Collaborative, we provide content-rich, developmentally appropriate curriculum and assessments along with continuing education and professional development for our teachers and staff.
Curriculum at TLC revolves around research-based strategies (High/Scope, Developing Emergent Literacy, Creative Curriculum) for improving language and literacy development among young children. We have a 30+ year record validating the accomplishments of the children and families during their time with us. We continually strive to add depth to our program.
The High/Scope teaching method for our younger classrooms is focused, dynamic, and results-oriented. High/Scope, developed through the Perry Preschool Project in Ypsilanti, Michigan, endeavors to improve the educational and life chances of children and youth. The High/Scope approach is a set of guiding principles and practices that adults, including teachers, parents, and staff, follow as they work with and care for children. “Active learning” — the belief that children learn best through active experiences with people, materials, events, and ideas, rather than through direct teaching or sequenced exercises — is a central tenet of this approach. TLC is committed to providing High/Scope for the children we serve and allows teachers to reap the benefits of professional development and education from the High/Scope Institute. For more information, visit http://www.highscope.org.
The Learning Collaborative is an NC Pre-Kindergarten program site. We currently have two NC Pre-K classes serving 32 children in all. Initiated by Governor Mike Easley, NC Pre-K is a voluntary pre-kindergarten program designed to prepare at-risk four-year-olds in North Carolina for success in school. High-quality childcare centers partner to provide a developmentally appropriate curriculum and structured environment for students.
To be eligible for the NC Pre-K program, children must:
The language skills in Creative Curriculum include conversation (speaking and listening), vocabulary development, book and print awareness, phonemic awareness, letter identification, and writing. Integrated mathematics skills include number sense, numeration, spatial sense, measurement, geometry, and patterns. Science and social studies and the arts are woven throughout the day.
NC Pre-K Creative Curriculum provides the tools to implement six thematically organized units, Family, Friends, Wind and Water, the World of Color, Shadows, and Reflections, and Things That Grow. The content of each unit is built around a carefully crafted, active daily routine. The regular schedule includes a Morning Meeting, center time, storytime, Songs, Word Play and Letters, small groups, and Let’s Find Out About It. Activities within these components are designed to encourage conversations, social skills, and concept knowledge. In addition to language, literacy, and math skills, participation in NC Pre-K fosters the development of the whole child.
DEVELOPING EMERGENT LITERACY
The average three-year-old who enters The Learning Collaborative scores in the 25th percentile in the area of language on developmental tests. By the time children graduate from TLC’s NC Pre-K program for four-year-olds the average developmental score increases to the 75th percentile. Despite this success, some children still fail to make progress once they enter the school system; tests show that their language proficiency decreases each year. The effects of even an excellent preschool education appear to diminish over time as the students progress through school.
To address this regression, The Learning Collaborative created our Developing Emergent Literacy curriculum. This program strengthens the child’s preschool experience in the area of emerging literacy skills by giving the child an “edge” in language and literacy. Through Developing Emergent Literacy, TLC brings a Speech and Language Pathologist on-site in the following capacities: