Scott Hall, Shu Su, and Stephanie Ries, faculty in the Department of Early Childhood, Youth, and Family Studies (ECYFS), have created an immersive learning project with the Second Harvest Food Bank called Big Idea Beginnings for Lifetime Readiness Project.
Second Harvest Food Bank’s mission is to provide food, education, and advocacy for people experiencing food insecurity across East Central Indiana. This new collaboration will focus on expanding Second Harvest’s early childhood learning and family training program. The program is designed to increase kindergarten readiness and enhance lifelong skill development among the most vulnerable individuals in our community.
Students enrolled in several ECYFS classes will assist in developing and delivering customized curriculum for Second Harvest Food Bank’s early childhood and family programs. The primary goal of this project is to help Second Harvest expand its curriculum for children ages 0-5 years and their families.
The program will touch on all childhood development elements, including physical, language, aesthetic, cognitive, emotional, and social domains. Following an assessment, ECYFS faculty and students will build training that delivers programs for different age groups and allows families to participate as their children progress toward admission into a more formal head start/or kindergarten program.
Ongoing programming could include family training sessions, after-meeting check-ins and support, digital or physical materials, and online coaching tools. All designed to promote skill development and kindergarten/life readiness activities to help contribute to the organization’s mission. This collaboration has the potential to be an ongoing partnership that could run for several years.