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Analysis of Introducing Forest Schools and Outdoor Learning and Possible Outcomes

As I leave South Carolina (and return to the UK) following a very productive three-month stay in which I presented in Columbia, Charleston, and Spartanburg to early childhood educators, students and other professionals and agencies involved in Early Childhood, I want to analyze the outcomes of these various sessions and try to find common denominators and highlight issues and challenges which have a recurring theme.
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Applying an Equity Lens to Greenville’s Housing Crisis

In Greenville County, the average annual income of a white individual is $59,820, a Hispanic individual is $35,794, and a black individual is $33,643. In the 2016 South Carolina Affordable Housing Study, the estimated income needed to afford a house in Greenville County was $53,633, which far surpasses the average income of black and Hispanic populations in Greenville by nearly $20,000.
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Public Transit: Make it Comfortable, Compatible & Easy (Especially for Parents with Children)

All of the hallmark inconveniences of public transportation (long wait times, inclement weather, tight spaces/limited seating) are compounded for those traveling with children. A long line gets longer with a screaming child. It rains harder and the sun is hotter while waiting at the bus stop. Space gets tighter when you need room to store a stroller.
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Forest School Reflection

After observing students in action, I noticed how resourceful everyone was. The children did not rely on plastic toys to bring them entertainment. They used natural materials such as stumps, sticks, leaves, dirt, etc. to design their own learning space for that day. Without the confines of walls and ceilings, students’ minds and bodies were able to explore their surroundings.
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Every Child is a Writer: Examining our Perspectives can Change our Messaging

Children are naturally motivated to write at a young age. In order to continue to nurture this desire for written expression, it is crucial that early childhood educators focus their writing instruction primarily on content, process, and meaning (composition) and that families and community stakeholders understand and celebrate the phases of early writing development.
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Parents Beware: Manufacturers’ Safety Claims May Not Measure Up

The safest place for a baby to sleep is on his/her back, in an empty crib (no blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals), ideally in the same room as a parent. These steps are linked to a much lower rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and infant suffocation. Since the National Institute for Health launched the Safe to Sleep campaign (previously called Back to Sleep) in 1994, SIDS deaths have declined 50 percent while rates of back-sleeping have increased. The campaign works with pediatricians and other medical professionals as well as community leaders to communicate the basics of safe sleep and connect families with resources to help address issues they face.
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May 2019 eNews

ICS is part of the 80+ member network known as Greenville County Care Coordination Collaborative. GCCCC was established by Help Me Grow SC and is a cooperative of agencies, organizations, and care providers with expertise in childhood health and developmental issues. A community needs assessment revealed gaps in services and an urgency to address housing instability.
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April eNews

On Tuesday, April 23 in Columbia, SC, ICS brought together state representatives and senators (and their staff) from across the aisle. The legislators serve on the House Education and Public Works Committee and Senate Education Committee respectively. The purpose of the annual dinner is to foster relationships with the legislative members who represent the five million citizens of South Carolina. The dinner was engaging and filled with lively conversations about taking quantum leaps in education and moving children (especially 0-8) forward in early childhood education (ECE).
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Press Release: Natural Playground Brings European Flair to Nicholtown Community

When compared to traditional playgrounds, Representative Dillard lists numerous advantages natural playgrounds offer – awakening a child’s senses of sight, sound and touch with opportunities to play, feel and explore; offering a multi-phase approach to play; encouraging risk-taking and creativity; and presenting social and learning opportunities as children share and work together to carry out tasks.
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