SMSD Celebrates the Week of the Young Child

SMSD Celebrates the Week of the Young Child
Kristin Babcock

The Shawnee Mission School District joins in the nationwide celebration of the Week of the Young Child 2022!

This time honors early learning, young children, their teachers, families, and communities. 

Did you know that Shawnee Mission offers children in our community early learning opportunities from before they are born until they begin elementary school?  You can find out more about Parents as Teachers, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Jump Start and all SMSD early learning opportunities here.

Parents as Teachers

Parents as Teachers is a voluntary program that supports families with children from pregnancy to age 5. Families who live in the district boundaries are able to enroll in PAT, a national program that connects families with trained educators. PAT promotes early development, learning, and the health of children by supporting and engaging parents and caregivers. Parents as Teachers connects parents with educators, as well as learning events, resources, and opportunities to connect with families of children near the same age.

Click here to find out more and enroll online for SMSD PAT.

When she enrolled in Parents as Teachers, parent Colleen Schiffer said she was interested in making sure her son was meeting early milestones and gaining help in making sure she was “doing everything right.”

“What I found out after a few meetings with my Parent Educator, Carrie, was that PAT gave me more than just educational goal completion,” Schiffer shared. “Carrie and the other parent educators at PAT offer reassurance, assistance, and guidance to parents. Especially as a new parent, it was reassuring to hear we were doing a good job.”  

Pre-K and Kindergarten

The Shawnee Mission School District is currently enrolling Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students for the 2022-2023 school year. Click here for more information.

As the district begins celebrating the Week of the Early Child, Bridgette Fullington, Pre-K Instructional Coach and Shawnee Mission Early Childhood Education Center English Language Learners teacher, reflected on the significant role joy plays in early Childhood education.

She shared a mission of Pre-K programs is to provide a safe and engaging environment where children and families experience the joy of learning.

“We want our community and families to know we want every child to have a joyful learning experience to support their learning and growth through developmentally appropriate programs,” Fullington shared.

Play is a key instructional strategy used in SMSD Pre-K classrooms and research supports play as a way to teach, Fullington added.

“Our programs go to great lengths to understand this research and create spaces for exploration with purposeful and intentional activities all while keeping it child choice driven,” Fullington expressed. “We pride ourselves on helping our young learners learn what it means to be learners with others through our social-emotional and academic curriculums. We ensure our students have time to practice these skills and in turn are building the foundation for life-long learners.”