The core program is made up of 12 weeks of individual teacher support providing weekly literacy planning, materials, modeling and coaching. This includes demonstrating how practices should be implemented, weekly teacher observation, weekly coaching sessions, and ongoing coaching upon program completion. The organizations currently participating in Growing Readers are Norma DeHoyos’ Daycare 2, YMCA of Reading & Berks County Central Branch and the Second Street Learning Center
In addition, a longer-term, more intensive approach is currently being piloted at Norma DeHoyos’ Daycare 2. This model encompasses a 6-8 month period of weekly support to improve quality throughout the center, improve curriculum and increase staff retention, while continuing to concentrate on literacy practices in the classroom.
A new component of the Growing Readers program is The Early Child Care Provider Training and Incentive Program, which is designed and implemented as a 3-year pilot program to enhance early childhood education and curriculum support; focus on kindergarten readiness and reduce turnover of the trained workers. The program includes a monitoring component to measure curriculum use in the participating centers. The program is a collaboration between United Way, RACC and several area childcare centers. Additionally, Brad and Barbara Hall, longtime United Way and Ready.Set.READ! supporters, personally sponsored the program.
The inaugural Early Child Care Provider Training Incentive Program launched in 2017 and consisted of candidates from Norma de Hoyas’ Daycare 2, Second Street Learning Center and the YMCA Childcare who enrolled at RACC to obtain their Child Development Associate Credential (CDA), based on a national set of competency standards. Candidates attended three, 8-week evening courses during the 2017-18 term and earned three credits per course, which can be used towards an Associate degree. Ten candidates completed the first year of the pilot program.