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Proposition 10

On November 1998, California voters passed the California Children and Families Act of 1998. The act levies a tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products with the intent to provide funding for early childhood development programs, in addition to establishing a State Commission and local County Commissions for this purpose. 

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Transitional Kindergarten Institute

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Children go through many changes throughout their lives. One of these changes, which on the surface many not seem important, but in reality signifies a big step forward in a child’s life, is the transition from a preschool program to the kindergarten classroom.  During this time behavior is shaped and attitudes are formed. These changes are noteworthy, particularly when comparing the rate of change to the relative age of the young child, and have the potential to positively impact a child’s academic performance and general well-being throughout their K-12 experience, and perhaps beyond that. It is no secret that a child’s early learning is heavily influenced by their home environment, the preschool program they attend, and the continuity involving preschool and kindergarten.

Created under the authority of the 2010 California law titled the Kindergarten Readiness Act, Transitional Kindergarten essentially creates a “new” grade in the K-12 school system that serves as a bridge between preschool and kindergarten. The law has changed the kindergarten entry date in order to ensure that children are 5 years old by September 1st, hence existing funding for children with fall birthdays that would have been eligible for kindergarten under the old kindergarten entry dates now requires for these children to be redirected to transitional kindergarten classrooms and funding allocations are used to employ existing teachers and pay for classroom facilities. The intention is to offer children that are less than 5 years of age with time to develop fundamental skills needed for early learning success in an age- and developmentally-appropriate setting. Transitional Kindergarten is a component of California’s public school system and offered at no cost to families. Classes are taught by credentialed teachers from the K-12 school system.

Transitional Kindergarten is one of the first steps California’s youngest school-children take in their long academic journey.  Teachers are key players in setting them on the path to lifelong learning and success.  The Imperial County Office of Education – Transitional Kindergarten Institute, partly funded by the Imperial County Children & Families First Commission, is working to support professional development opportunities for Transitional Kindergarten teachers from school districts within Imperial County. These capacity building exercises consist of four modules designed to provide participants with a better understanding of the Preschool Framework/Foundation, Social-Emotional Development needs of preschool-aged children, develop preschool lesson plans on English Language Development, Language and Literacy, Mathematics and Science. Credentialed teachers from as many as 24 elementary schools have benefitted from learning modules offered by the Transitional Kindergarten Institute.

The program is designed to help Transitional Kindergarten teachers apply strategies and use information to enrich learning and development opportunities for eligible children.  Research shows that beginning kindergarten at an older age will: 1) improve social, emotional, academic development; 2) boost test scores; and 3) increase likelihood of attending college and earning higher wages.  Studies further suggest that economic benefits may include reduced rates of grade retention and special education placement.  For more information please contact Director of District and School Support, Eddie Hernandez and/or District and School Coordinator, Lupita Olguin-Rubio at (760) 312-6429

 

For a listing of other Proposition 10 funded Projects featured by the Commission click here.