Celebrating our Early Learning Center 2018 Graduates!

The familiar sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance”? Check! Traditional (though diminutive!) caps and gowns? Check! “Diplomas”? Check! Big smiles of accomplishment? Check! Proud friends and family to watch the wonderful “promotion” ceremony? Double check!

Wellspring Family Services is delighted to announce the June graduation (or promotion) of nine students from our Early Learning Center (ELC). Each of these youngsters has faced significant challenge: currently, they are homeless or they have recently faced homelessness. However, with an average stay in the Wellspring ELC program of 15 months, each young student now is better prepared to succeed in kindergarten, and beyond.

“Researchers who study pre-K education often find that children who have had early experiences of economic scarcity and insecurity gain more from these programs than their more advantaged peers.”

-The Current State of Scientific Knowledge on Pre-Kindergarten Effects (authors include Deborah Phillips of Georgetown University, Mark W. Lipsey of Vanderbilt, Kenneth Dodge of Duke and Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution

As these students enter the school system this fall, what skills will they take with them? Here’s what Wellspring’s ELC teachers tell us about the Wellspring Class of 2018:

We have come to understand that emotion coaching is paramount in the children’s success in their entering the primary educational culture. Through our work on emotional intelligence with our ELC children, they learn to combat big feelings, react to those feelings appropriately, and process through conflict. The benefit of children identifying their feelings are numerous: they pay attention, with an ability to focus over a period of time; they bond with adults and peers; show empathy; label feelings; and regulate feelings, with the ability to express thoughts appropriately.

For these young students, there’s no such thing as summer vacation: the learning (and fun!) will continue for another month. Each will remain with the Early Learning Center Program until they transition to kindergarten later this year.