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CCSD hosts Early Learning Kindergarten Readiness Symposium

Charleston County School District (CCSD) held an Early Learning Kindergarten Readiness Symposium on November 30, 2022 to expand collaboration among agencies. Local childcare providers and municipal partners joined Kim Foxworth, the district’s Executive Director of Early Learning Readiness Programs, and her team to engage and collaborate on the important topic of early learning and kindergarten readiness. The focus was to collectively identify and define the academic and social-emotional skills of a Kindergarten-ready child.

The day-long symposium featured multiple breakout sessions led by state agency leaders and local childcare providers. Sessions focused on readiness resources, common expectations, and building collaborative networks. Dr. Jill Dent, Bureau Director of Early Childhood for the Mississippi Department of Education was the keynote speaker.

CCSD offers early childhood education from birth to five years old beginning with Early Head Start (0-2 years old), Head Start (3-year-olds), and Child Development (4K). The mission of CCSD's Early Learning community is to provide rigorous, developmentally appropriate instruction that incorporates social-emotional learning in a safe and nurturing environment.

“Convening all of our early childhood education practitioners and stakeholders is crucial to ensuring we have common identifiers of readiness, as well as the resources, supports, and training available to help get students kindergarten ready,” said Foxworth.

Under the leadership of Foxworth, staff has begun to implement strategies to address the gaps to ensure all children that enter CCSD system are Kindergarten-ready.

“The expansion of seats in our early learning program is just one input into the early learning component of the K-12 ecosystem as access, opportunities, and engagement [or enrollment] must all occur in tandem to support successful outcomes of readiness,” Foxworth explained.

The symposium is CCSD’s first-ever gathering of local public and private childcare providers, state agencies, higher education institutions, elected officials, and municipal partners. “Center-based, school district, and family home child care providers from the Charleston community will build ties that ensure continued partnership in readying all children for Kindergarten, positioning our community to remove barriers to access for early learning opportunities,” explained Foxworth.