September’s State Advisory Council Meeting kicked off with an update on the status of the Preschool Development Grant, followed by reminders of calendar items for the remainder of the calendar year, including the upcoming SAC and Regional Council Assembly in October, and the release of How Are Vermont’s Young Children and Families at the end of 2019.
Back in July, the SAC meeting took place the same day as the Early Childhood Action Plan Summit, where state leaders gathered to discuss priorities for the upcoming year. At this meeting, we continued the work of the ECAP by reviewing the six key goals of the Plan via a gallery walk, where participants were able to dig into the proposed priorities and strategies for 2019-2020 as identified at the Summit. Following the gallery walk, there was a robust discussion about the ECAP Priorities and process, including ECAP Committee membership, how to best measure progress, and how to tell stories that illustrate the work we are doing to bring the data measures to life. With the ECAP Priorities approved by the SAC, the Committees will move to next steps, including:
- Write work plans
- Invite new stakeholders
- Designate implementation teams
- Design/update performance measures
- Communicate with ECAP committees, Regional Coordinators and State Advisory Council
- Advise on ECAP update process
Next the SAC learned of the progress made on the How Are Vermont’s Young Children and Families report. BBF is collecting data and has begun writing the report. The SAC reviewed data points and weighed in with content recommendations.
Finally, the meeting was joined by Linda Donigan, Bennington Free Library Children’s Librarian and Robin Stromgren, the Bennington Regional Coordinator, to present the project “1,000 Books by Kindergarten”, which is part of the Bennington Council’s priority focus on kindergarten readiness. The program has handed out over 3,000 books to young readers over the past two years, and works to engage families in the practice of reading with their young children.
The next SAC meeting will take place on October 28 in White River Junction, and will be an assembly of that body and the Regional Councils.