Haley shines at Clearfield STAR 4 program

Haley Sw ClearfieldHaley has done so wonderful with her progress that Keystone STAR 4 provider Barbara J. Gillingham feels that the Keystone STARS program has helped both to reach all of their goals.

Haley was enrolled with me in October of 2010. She resides with both parents, however only mom was working at the time. Dad had recently been laid off from his job, but decided to enroll into an educational program to better himself and his family. They have had some tough times considering only one income was coming into the home.

Haley was 3 years old when her family decided to enroll her into my program. In November she was 3 ½ and I did my first observation on her using Work Sampling. Although she was where she needed to be developmentally I had many goals on her observation for me and her parents to work on. These goals were learning and recognizing the letters of the alphabet, recognizing her name when it was written, learning to write her name, rhyming words, counting and recognizing numbers, using scissors correctly and being able to cut something out by following the lines, and using her words to express her feelings.

In February of this year we did another observation using the Ages to Stages as our tool for this observation. This time, Haley scored a perfect score on communication, gross motor, problem solving, and personal-social development skills. She scored a good (but not perfect) score on fine motor skills. She is working on buttoning buttons and coloring inside the lines on a picture. She has come a long way since her first observation in November of 2010. She now knows all of her letters, writes her name, knows how to rhyme words, knows all of her numbers and even adds smaller math problems, uses her scissors correctly, and uses her words to express when other children make her upset of angry. Haley has done so wonderful with her progress and I feel that the Keystone STARS program has helped me and her to reach all of these goals. Keystone STARS has taught me how to be a better early educator so that all the children and families in my care will benefit. I feel that Haley’s parents had so much to do with her reaching these goals. I would give them a copy of her goals and this is what they would work on at home with her.

Haley SW Clearfield - artNot only is Haley a Shining Star, but so is her mom and dad. Her dad has recently graduated (with high honors) from Triangle Tech, and has had numerous job interviews. This family took tough situation (dad getting laid off) and bettered themselves for the sake of Haley. I could not thank them enough for trusting me and for enrolling Haley into my program. It is so wonderful to see a child such s Haley, grow and develop into a great child who will be ready to enroll into Kindergarten in the fall. I also feel that Haley could not have reached all these goals without the help of great parents such as hers.

The Keystone STARS program has many standards that must be met. I would never have realized some of the standards and how they can better the children and families in my care. Such as displaying art work. I would always send the children’s art work home with them and not hang it up. Now we hang it up and to me this encourages children to want to do more and also increases communication skills. For example, just today we hung up some art work and for a half an hour three children had a complete conversation about their art work. I have a child now who does not particularly like to do art work, but she is slowly becoming more interested in doing it when she sees the other children’s work hanging on the wall. This is going to increase her development in her fine motor skills by using crayon, markers or paint brushes.

I feel that the communication with parents is also a very important standard within the program. Parents enroll their children into my care and want to be educated on what is happening within my program. They are interested in what their children are doing or not doing and do not want to be left in the dark. The observations are an important part of communicating with parents. When we do observations on the children in my program it will help me to better my lesson plans and also could provide early intervention for any child that may need it I use these observations to communicate and offer parent conferences three times a year for all the families I serve.

One of the most important standards for me in the program is the educational standards we must meet. I used the T.E.A.C.H. scholarship program in 2006 and enrolled into Clarion University’s Early Childhood Program. I graduated in 2009 with my AA degree and learned so much about early childhood. I would not have done this without the extra push I needed from Keystone STARS. Receiving my AA degree has pushed me to want to go further in my education, so in February of last year I enrolled into Ashford University for my BA degree in Early Childhood Administration, and will graduate in August of 2013. I plan on enrolling back into Clarion in January of 2014 to pursue my Masters degree. Because of the education and retention awards from the Keystone STARS program and all of the education I have gotten, the children and families will benefit.

I feel that any early education programs would benefit tremendously by enrolling into the Keystone STARS program and would make them the high quality programs that young children need to develop and grow. I know I would not be where I am today without the help from the program and from all of the staff they have.

Overall, children such as Haley, I feel, would not reach the goals they need to reach without the help of the Keystone STARS program guiding the providers or teachers.

Nominated by Barbara J. Gillingham, Keystone STAR 4 provider, Clearfield County




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