National grant awarded for local early-childhood educators | St. Louis Public Radio

National grant awarded for local early-childhood educators

Jul 11, 2011

The American Federation of Teachers has awarded a national grant to AFT St. Louis, the St. Louis Public School District and Harris Stowe State University to create professional development programs for early childhood educators.

Each year, more than 2,000 children attend pre-K in St. Louis Public Schools. Through the program, pre-K teachers and paraprofessionals will receive training in early learning so that students have a strong foundation for later learning.

Sheryl Davenport is executive director of early childhood education for St. Louis Public Schools.

"Sharing, expressing your wants and needs, turn taking, self-help skills, those are the areas that we are going to be focusing on," Davenport said. "And helping our teachers understand why areas of play and the social-emotional are so important as foundations for kindergarten readiness."

The Union, the District and the University will design a comprehensive professional development program that will be piloted in the 2012-2013 school year for the district's 184 pre-K teachers and paraprofessionals.