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Stepping Stones’ ELLI Preschool earns ‘prestigious NAEYC accreditation’

(Stepping Stones Museum for Children)

NORWALK, Conn. – This is a press release, presented in the format in which it was sent:

 

STEPPING STONES MUSEUM FOR CHILDREN’S PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS EARN ACCREDITATION FROM THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE EDUCATION OF YOUNG CHILDREN (NAEYC)
-Innovative ELLI Program Recognized Among the Top in the Nation as it Continues to Grow-

 

(NORWALK, CT) –  September 26, 2017 – Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk is jumping to the head of the class with a major achievement. Its innovative Early Language and Literacy Initiative (ELLI) program at the museum and in the Norwalk Public School system have received accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)—the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children. All four sites received extremely high marks – over 100%!

“Stepping Stones has always been committed to creating the highest quality educational opportunities for young children,” stated Rhonda Kiest, President and CEO of the award-winning museum. “It is an incredible accomplishment to have our program recognized by NAEYC. Now we want to broaden the scope of ELLI to reach even younger children in order to close the achievement gap in Connecticut.”

The Early Language and Literacy Initiative (ELLI) is an evidence-based approach to early childhood education that embeds language, literacy and 21st century skill building activities within an interdisciplinary mix of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) to close the achievement gap for young children. ELLI programs playfully immerse and engage ELLI students through interconnected concepts, or BIG IDEAS, that enhance their understanding of the world. ELLI in Norwalk is the joint collaboration of Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Norwalk Public Schools and Literacy How, an organization dedicated to the application of early literacy research. The Norwalk Public School classrooms are open to children ages 3 – 5 and are partially funded with School Readiness funds. The ELLI Lab School is not funded with School Readiness funds.

There are currently four ELLI classroom sites in Norwalk that have earned NAEYC Accreditation:

  • The ELLI Lab School at Stepping Stones Museum for Children
  • ELLI classroom at Fox Run Elementary School in Norwalk
  • ELLI classroom at Tracey Elementary School in Norwalk
  • ELLI classroom at Naramake Elementary School in Norwalk

NAEYC Accreditation is a rigorous and transformative quality-improvement system that uses a set of 10 research-based standards to collaborate with early education programs to recognize and drive quality-improvement in high-quality early learning environments.  Less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition.

In the 30 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 7,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYC. For more information about NAEYC Accreditation, visit the NAEYC website.To earn NAEYC Accreditation, the ELLI Lab School and three Norwalk Public School classrooms went through an extensive self-study and quality-improvement process, followed by an on-site visit by NAEYC Assessors to verify and ensure that the program met each of the ten program standards, and hundreds of corresponding individual criteria. NAEYC-accredited programs are always prepared for unannounced quality-assurance visits during their accreditation term, which lasts for five years.

“NAEYC-Accredited programs bring our definitions of excellence for early childhood education to life each day,” said Kristen Johnson, senior director of Early Learning Program Accreditation at NAEYC. “Earning NAEYC Accreditation makes Stepping Stones Museum for Children an exemplar of good practice for families and the entire community.”

“We will take our learnings from our recent NAEYC accreditation process as the ELLI program continues to grow. We are also thrilled to announce a NEW toddler program at the Lab School at Stepping Stones, opening this fall,” adds Kiest.

The toddler program is currently accepting applications. Space is limited. To schedule a visit or for more information, email [email protected], call 203 899 0606, ext. 216 or visit www.steppingstonesmuseum.org/elli.

ABOUT STEPPING STONES MUSUEM FOR CHILDREN

Stepping Stones Museum for Children is an award-winning, private, non-profit 501 (c)(3) children’s museum committed to broadening and enriching the lives of children and families. For more information about Stepping Stones, to book a field trip or schedule a class, workshop or facility rental call 203-899-0606 or visit www.steppingstonesmuseum.org.

Stepping Stones Museum for Children is located at 303 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT, exit 14 North and 15 South off I-95. Museum hours are: Labor Day through Memorial Day, Tuesday-Sunday and holiday Mondays from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; and Memorial Day through Labor Day, Monday-Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.  Admission is $15 for adults and children and $10 for seniors. Children under 1 are free. Get social with Stepping Stones on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

ABOUT THE EARLY LANGUAGE AND LITERACY INITIATIVE (ELLI)

Early literacy lays the foundation for reading and future success in school, work and life. Before a child can master other subjects or communicate what has been learned, he/she needs the ability and the interest to read and write.

The programs are guided by the following principles:

·         Play is the essential element in the optimal development of young children.

·         The development of language and literacy skills – listening, speaking, reading, and writing – early in life is key to success in school, work, and life.

·         Parents’ and caregivers’ active involvement is critical to a child’s healthy development, attachment, and learning.

·         All children will grow up in an increasingly culturally diverse town, city, state, country, and world.

Knowledgeable and prepared teachers facilitate the ELLI programs each day, serving as teaching and learning partners with ELLI students. Data is collected and used to measure progress, understand the effectiveness of teaching strategies, and refine or adjust these strategies for every child.

 

This press release was posted as a public service. A press release is a written announcement submitted to news organizations to publicize an event or activity, a milestone or a point of view. NancyOnNorwalk has not researched the assertions made and takes no responsibility for the content.

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Nancy came to Norwalk in September 2010 and, after reporting on Norwalk for two years for another company, resigned to begin Nancy On Norwalk so she engage in journalism the way it was meant to be done. She is married to career journalist Mark Chapman, has a son, Eric (the artist and web designer who built this website), and two cats – a middle-aged lady and a young hottie who are learning how to peacefully co-exist.