Right from the start
Weaving early childhood education into community development strategies is proving to be a high-impact way to help families and kids.
13 Aug 2012 - Carl Vogel
In two two-hour sessions, the toddlers in the Tot of Tomorrow program in the East Hillside community in Duluth have a place to play and learn. Their teachers are trained in early childhood education, and the time is organized around ways to help the kids build social, emotional and academic strengths to prepare for school.
TOT is run by Center City Housing, which operates more than 400 units of affordable housing in Duluth, including supportive housing programs that provide social services to people in special need, such as individuals with a history of substance abuse and families that have experienced homelessness.
For Center City Housing, TOT is a way to do more than give kids a place to play and their parents some time to get treatment or take a class—it's a way to interrupt the cycle of poverty.
"We know that homelessness, in terms of chaos and the impact on the rest of life, is huge," said Nancy Cashman, the supportive housing director for Center City Housing. "Our goal is to find ways to eliminate future episodes of homelessness."
And the impact goes beyond the two hours the kids attend classes. "The programs also provide an opportunity to work directly with moms and dads on strategies to help kids more formally," Cashman said. "If we have a kid two or four hours a day, and they have a developmental delay, we can work with them. And we can talk with mom about what they can do to help. It can make a big difference." Continued[+]...
> Read the full Institute for Comprehensive Community Development article
Article Type: News