- Follow up to the Emory Student Report: Community Assessment of Early Learning and Childcare Needs of Refugee Families in Clarkston, Georgia. What did we learn from the study? What other planning activities do we want to undertake in 2018? Additional copies of the report will be available on the 24th or email me if you would like an electronic copy
- Eat. Move.Talk Literacy Campaign Discussion and Time Table
- Clarkston Tell Me a Story! Festival Report and Volunteer Recruitment
- Partner announcements
This little girl really enjoys musical activities doing “Circle Time.” Here, she is focused on holding up the correct fingers while singing “Where Is Thumbkin?” Role-playing songs such as “Where Is Thumbkin?” help development math skills. Social-emotional development is also important. Her teachers and parents have noticed how she has matured since being enrolled at the Ready School and how she likes being with the other children. She really loves school!
“CHILD -CENTERED APPROACH”
Providing choices for children is the fundamental aspect of high-quality early childhood curriculum (Hendrick, 1996).
The students at the Ready School are allowed to make many choices throughout the day.
A student might decide to sit in a corner or stretched out on the floor and read her favorite book. Others may choose to build a building with blocks, or cook a gourmet meal, or use a scissor to cut out different shapes.
Children feel more committed to an activity they have chosen themselves. Therefore, their attention span will likely be longer if they choose an activity then if they work at a task assigned by the teacher (Fromberg, 1995, Maxim, 1997).
MEETING THE NEEDS OF THE STUDENTS!
Once a week, the students at the Clarkston Town Homes Ready School have a visit from Grace Nyawira Ngobia, a Graduate Student from Emory University. Grace was born in Kenya, Africa, and speaks fluent Swahili. She not only enjoys singing and dancing in Swahili with the students, she is also working one on one with a non-English speaking Burmese student who is soon transitioning to a Pre-K program.
THE CLARKSTON TOWN HOMES
READY SCHOOL INTERNATIONAL STEEL BAND!!!!
These three little boys might not speak the same language (one speaks Burmese and the other two speak Nepali); nevertheless, they have learned to make sweet music together. Using pots, pans and spoons their from their play kitchen, they make melodious rhythms that are very pleasing to their ears.
LOOK AT THE SMILES ON THOSE FACES!!!!
Mark your calendars for the 2018 New Americans Celebration! The event will be held on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at the Georgia State Capitol.
More information to come…
Do you have a 3 or 4-year-old child or know someone who does? If you are looking for a schooling option in Clarkston, we invite you to consider The READY School. Located at Clarkston Townhomes, The READY School is a free, part day, multi-lingual, multi-cultural program for 3 and 4-year-olds and their families.
The READY School at Clarkston Townhomes is located at 519 W. Hill Street, Clarkston, GA 30021. You can also reach them by phone at (404)294-8362.
“That’s a popular song in Somali,” said one of the participants who attended the July 15 CDF Action Summer Celebration. Thanks to CDF Associate Malaika Wells, the sounds of music and the wonderful aroma of foods from around the world filled the air. The event was held at the Clarkston First Baptist K.D. Moore Resource Center, with more than 100 children and adults attending.
The purpose of the Summer Celebration was to recognize and thank families and partners who participate in the W. K. Kellogg Foundation-funded initiative “Clarkston Families Decide,” and other programs such as The READY School, funded in part by the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta.
The day’s activities started off with a game of “Neighbor Bingo” — participants armed with a “bingo” card approached friends new and old and asked: “Are you a good listener?” or “Are you a leader in your mosque, church, or school?” and “Are you studying to become a citizen?” At least three people filled their entire bingo card.
Photos of Clarkston Family Decides activities were on display, including photos from The READY Schools, I am a Leader, the Indian Creek Elementary Education Garden, The Early Learning Community Trust, the Enhanced Child Development Associate workshop, and the annual Tell Me a Story! Cultural and Storytelling Festival.
The program included a welcome from CDF Board member Bill Moon and Clarkston City Council members Dean Moore and Awet Eyasu, as well as Omar Shekhey, Executive Director of the Somali American Community Center. Councilwoman Beverly Burke was on hand to meet and greet — and to take her wonderful photos. Participants in each of CDF Action’s programs, as well as partners were invited to stand and be recognized.
Storyteller and READY School lead teacher LaVerne Amponsah engaged over 15 adults and children “on the stage” as she taught us all a Swahili welcome song. We were surprised by the number of people who speak Swahili (as well as other languages).
CDF partner, storyteller in residence at the Apex Museum, and children’s author Deborah Strahorn invited READY School and other children to come forward and help her read passages from selected DeKalb Summer Reading Program books. And let’s not forget the drums!
Shahed Waheeb, one of CDF’s coaches and interpreters, took the microphone and gave a sterling presentation on how she has been involved with CDF’s early learning and family engagement program, chronicling our journey together over the past three years.
We enjoyed food from Bhutan prepared by Kathmandu Kitchen and Grill, and from Iraq, prepared by Dijla Café in addition to homemade cakes and other dishes that attendees brought to share.
The Summer Celebration was like a family reunion, with children playing, adults enjoying each other’s company, and good food to eat.
Thanks to the families and associates who helped plan the day and to all who attended. Let’s continue to take the time to enjoy conversations and to celebrate each other.
Roberta Malavenda, Executive Director
*Photos by Eric Weir
Children at the Clarkston Oaks READY School eagerly participated in sharing a story with Ellen Gadberry, literacy consultant. The book, A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni, was gifted to each of the children and their families, who are now reading to each other! Families were invited to read the book – or tell a story using the book – in English or their home language.
Thanks to the DeKalb Summer Reading Program, coordinated by the DeKalb Junior League, and funded by United Way of Greater Atlanta and GEEARS for choosing these wonderful books and making them available so that children can enjoy and learn.
The READY School is a project of Scottdale Early Learning and CDF Action. There are currently openings in the Clarkston Oaks program for 3 to 4 year old children. As soon as the students are eligible for Georgia Pre-K, staff assist the families with enrollment and transition.
The READY School is two days a week, either Monday and Wednesday, or Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 12 noon, with family planned workshops and activities. Preference is given to residents of Clarkston Oaks and to families who live in zip code 30021. Teachers speak Arabic, Somali, and English. For more information, call Carlotta or Essraa at 404 294-8362.
Wow — what a wonderful event the 2017 Tell Me a Story! festival was! The event was attended by more than 300 people, over 20 language and literacy partners, three local caterers (new this year), and a festival favorite, Kona Ice!
The storytellers throughout the event were amazing, encouraging children of all ages to participate in stories and music from around the world “on stage” in Angora Hall. Our partners worked tirelessly to engage children and their families in fun and the learning of arts and literacy activities, which took place in every room and the hallways of the Clarkston Community Center. Children and adults alike enjoyed face painting, as well as henna designs by Adar!
LaVerne Amponsah and Gwen Napier, Kuumba Storytellers of Georgia, remember the first Tell Me a Story! festival. This was their fifth year facilitating the storytelling program, engaging the audience with chants, stories and drumming.
Door prizes at the festival included discount coupons from Half Price Books and a new children’s book signed by author Deborah Strahorn, “The Always Busy, Sometimes Quiet, Often Noisy Room.”
Shannon Willow, Clarkston artist, was on hand to collect education words for a community mural, located on the wall of the Clarkston United Methodist Church, next to Refuge Coffee.
Our thanks to Habitat for Humanity DeKalb and Newell Rubbermaid for the beautiful book bags, to the Mayors Summer Reading program, DREAM, DeKalb Friends of the Library, and Half Price Books for the books. The book giveaway (close to 1,000 books ranging from infant/toddler board books to chapter books) was one of the highlights of this year’s festival!
The children enjoyed meeting authors Deb Strahorn, R Gregory Christie, and Tracey Phillips.
This year’s “Welcoming Room” volunteers included Janelle Adams, Shahed Waheeb, Shukri Yusef, Zulikha Yousuf, and Wendy Silver.
Thanks to the Clarkston Community Center for hosting the festival, and to the City of Clarkston, New American Pathways and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation for funding.
A special thanks to the Junior League of DeKalb for helping in so many ways, to CPACS for making it possible for many children to attend, and to all the volunteers, including co-chairs Effie Chisholm, DeKalb County Public Library, and Rodney Reese, DeKalb County,who all contributed to the success of Tell Me a Story!.
Our storytellers and entertainers: The Cat in the Hat, Chetter Galloway, Clarkston Townhomes READY School children and their teachers, Deborah Strahorn, Hodo Ali and Ayah Abdi, Jerry G.White, Julie Austin, R. Gregory Christie, and Meer Gul (a student at Indian Creek Elementary School).
Our literacy partners: Center for Puppetry Arts, Clarkston First Baptist Academy, DeKalb CountyYouth Services, DeKalb Library Foundation, DeKalb County Public Library – Clarkston, DeKalb Summer Reading Program, DREAMS, Emory Michael C. Carlos Museum, First Steps – Great Start Georgia, Georgia Department of Public Health – Eat, Move,Talk!, Global Montessori School, Heartwood School, Montessori Partnerships of Georgia, Half Price Books, New American Pathways, Refugee Family Literacy, Sagal Radio, Scottdale Early Learning, Tracey Phillips – Little Storybug, Well Refugee Center – Georgia Refugee Health and Mental Health, and artist Shannon Willow.