By Andrea Ojeda
A partnership between the Early Childhood Education Program (ECE), Child Development Lab School (CDLS), Stepping Stones Museum’s Early Learning and Literacy Initiative (ELLI), ELLI Lab School and School Readiness Provider has created a symbiotic relationship.
The partnership represents a give and take relationship between the CDLS and Stepping Stones Museum’s ELLI Lab School. According to Catherine Neiswonger, Director of the CDLS, as a model practice for ECE the CDLS helped to set up the lab school at the Stepping Stones Museum.
“They reached out to us to help them sort of establish what it would look like to have a lab school at the museum. I think it’s a combination of need and shared purposes,” said Neiswonger.
The benefits of partnering with the ELLI Lab School is partnering with a program that encourages higher educational growth for children in certain areas.
“We are helping to be a part of a pioneering program that has to do with language and literacy,” said Neiswonger.
According to Neiswonger, the School Readiness Program provides Early Childhood Education classes similar to the CDLS and the classes are open to children that live in Norwalk. The program is no different from the CDLS.
School Readiness and CDLS collaborate on projects offered through the Norwalk community, an example is the WellFest.
According to Neiswonger the WellFest is an event where service providers for health, safety, and nutrition to one area. In addition, parents are invited to come and visit the providers for the day.
The benefit of partnering with School Readiness is the financial help that is given to those participating in the CDLS.
“Our School Readiness partnership allows us to provide quality care and education at a reduced rate for a significant portion of our students in the program,” said Neiswonger.
The partnership that has been on going at all times is the partnership between the CDLS and the ECE program on campus. The CDLS and ECE program, coincide, and create a relationship that benefits the education of the students on campus and the students in the CDLS.
Students within the ECE program are presented with learning opportunities on an ongoing basis. According to Neiswonger the students are able to work in the classroom, and take teaching initiative.
“We provide learning opportunities for the ECE students on an ongoing basis. That involves opportunities for observation, opportunities for placement in the class to participate and opportunities to do the practicum. Which is a part of the Associates Degree,” said Neiswonger.
For more information about the WellFest on April 13, contact Catherine Neiswonger at (203) 857 7143