Two University of Nevada Cooperative Extension associate professors walked away with a national award last week for their work in Clark County to strengthen child care teachers' language and literacy teaching practices aimed at improving preschool children's learning of language and literacy skills.
Teresa Byington, early childhood development specialist, and YaeBin Kim, parenting education and family literacy specialist, received the first place National (and first place Western Region) Early Childhood Child Care Training Award at the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences Annual Session held October 16-19 in Omaha, Nebraska. More than 500 professionals from across the country attended. The Early Childhood Child Care Training Award recognizes outstanding child care professional training that addresses the needs of young children birth to 8 years of age.
Byington and Kim were recognized for their Literacy in the Early Childhood Classroom Training Program. The two developed the 12-hour training program for early childhood teachers participating in the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program. Since 2013, 357 early childhood teachers in Clark County have participated in the training, and these teachers have taught approximately 3,000 young children.
Byington and Kim's assessments of the program have shown that teachers in preschool classrooms who have participated in the training have demonstrated significant improvements in language and literacy practices and environmental supports. Preschoolers in their classrooms showed positive gains in alphabet knowledge, listening comprehension, phonological awareness and vocabulary. Partners in the program included the Clark County School District, Head Start, Early Head Start and community child care centers. The program has also been taught in Michigan, Kansas, Georgia and Iowa.
"Teresa and YaeBin's commitment to enhancing literacy in children and families in Clark County is exemplary," Mark Walker, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Director, said. "Their outstanding work being recognized at this National Session will no doubt result in the program being replicated and used by many others throughout the country. These are the types of programs that will help our young children be prepared for success in school and life."
Byington and Kim also received the second place National Human Development/Family Relationships Award for their early literacy programming. The Human Development/Family Relationships Award recognizes innovative human development/family relationships educational efforts.
For more information on the award-winning program, contact Byington or Kim at 702-222-3130.