My name is Ashlee and this is my message….
“I love to help the teachers ring the bell and be the line leader, that makes me feel important. I like to sing songs and dance in class! – Ashlee (age 5)
Ashlee started attending preschool when she was 3 and is off to Kindergarten in the Fall. She is helping us increase the awareness of the importance of early learning. Here we share more of her story as told by her parents & teachers.
"Ashlee is a wonderful little girl who has benefited from attending Pre-School because her difficulty communicating her needs, and her anxiety in the social situation at school, made it challenging for Ashlee to share all that she knew about the world. Fortunately with support from her family, these needs were recognized early, and strategies and supports were provided to assist Ashlee to become more comfortable in a school environment, and better able to communicate her needs." – Jody Rutherford (BELA)
“When Ashlee went to preschool she needed help with communication, social and motor skills. She was not comfortable talking to everyone in the class and preferred to be quiet and to play by herself. Now she feels more comfortable talking to her teachers, responding to their questions. With her friends, she feels more comfortable playing with them.” – Lukkhana & Matt (Ashlee’s Parents)
The Early Development Instrument measures a child’s development in the Communication Skills & General Knowledge domain, as a child being able to ‘’communicate needs and wants in socially appropriate ways, can tell stories and has general knowledge about the outside world that is age appropriate.
Data from the ECMap project indicates that only 59.9% of Kindergarten children in Brooks & the County of Newell are developing at an age appropriate level in this developmental area.
This ECMap data includes data for children who are learning to speak English, which is particularly important for Brooks & the County of Newell, where 16.9% of residents have a first language other than English or French. It is especially important for children learning English and / or struggling with their language skills to start early, by taking part in available programs, before Kindergarten.
“When we consider the number of children who are at risk in the Communication Skills & General Knowledge domain, combined with the Emotional Maturity domain, and/or the Social Competence domain, we often see children who are experiencing difficulty expressing and communicating their emotions in a socially acceptable manner, which may have a significant impact in our Kindergarten and Grade One classrooms.”- Jody Rutherford (BELA)
We know that it is sometimes difficult or even impossible to arrange transportation for children to and from programs, work schedules that are not conducive to enrolling children in outside programs, or if you have made a personal choice to keep your children at home with you. For any of these circumstances there are still programs that can offer you support in enhancing your child’s development. SPEC LINKS offers the HIPPY Program,
(Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters), some local programs offer a drop in schedule. Call & ask questions, visit programs & open houses. Design a plan that works best for your family and for your child’s needs.
“Ashlee celebrated her fifth birthday recently and has grown and improved in her social and emotional skills tremendously. Ashlee will now play with other children independently. She will sing songs and participate joyfully and willingly in games, group activities and play time at school. Ashlee will raise her hand and answer questions verbally during circle time. We continue to work on Ashlee’s communication skills by encouraging more verbal interaction with her peers during play. In addition we focus on increasing the amount of time she interacts with her peers.”– Kim McClelland (Ashlee’s
“We are so proud of Ashlee because she has improved a lot and is doing so well! We were so lucky to get help from the teachers and staff in school who have more experience with teaching and other areas that can help her to improve. We have 2 kids and we had them in pre-school since they were 3. Both of them loved to go to preschool because they can make friends, play, and learn the things that they need to know when they are in the kindergarten. We feel that going to preschool is the best thing for kids. It makes their younger years much easier.”- Lukkhana & Matt (Ashlee’s Parents)
“With continued involvement from Ashlee’s parents and her older brother, we are confident we will be able to successfully transition Ashlee to her Kindergarten class, where she will continue to learn and grow!” Jody Rutherford (BELA)
For more information on programs and resources in our community please see below:
Brooks & County Immigration Services
Brooks Early Learning Academy
Les P'Tits Trésors.
Parents As Teachers
Grasslands Intervention Offices
403.362.8729 ext 116
SPEC Parent Link Center