The Boone County “Wise” Early Childhood Collaborative Action Network (WECCAN)

The “Wise” Collaborative Action Network was convened in January 2015 with the focus of increasing the number of students considered ready for kindergarten in Boone County, Missouri.  The Network originally was divided in two parallel groups: county and city (Columbia). The first eight months were spent developing a common knowledge base, reviewing pertinent local data, identifying best practices as well as detractors from success, and considering how childcares and kindergarten teachers could work more closely and consistently to support kindergarten readiness.

A backward design was used for the group’s study:

1st — defining kindergarten readiness

2nd — determining what childcares must do to ensure children are ready for kindergarten

3rd — defining characteristics of quality childcares

4th — determining developmentally appropriate goals for children birth-five

In addition we looked at how parents might collaborate with childcare and support their child(ren) through their pre-school years.

Following 8 months of study including a data review, guest speakers, kindergarten teacher panels, readings, and sharing the wealth within the group, the two groups combined in August.  The group then reviewed their charted learning and set initial action commitments and divided into 4 action teams each of which began to work on one of the identified actions.

Goal of  the WECCAN

All Boone County School Districts, individually and collectively, will increase the number of students deemed ready for kindergarten on their respective assessments by 8% or more by the 2020-21 school year.

Members of the WECCAN 

Name Position
Bev Borduin Grant Pre-School
Nate Beucke MU
Melody Boling Launch
Tamara Breece Buckles & Bows
Christy Brookins UCP CDC
Tiffany Campbill Tree Top Childcare
Adrian Clifton Worley St. Rndtbl
Vicki Davolt EC-PBS
Heather Demand UCP CDC
Michele Doolady A Child’s House Home Preschool
Lisa DriskelHawxby Open Initiative, MU
Wendy Ell Launch
Leslie Fannin CMCA
Pat Forward Moose Tracks Center
Kim Harvey Harrisburg ELC
Michelle Haynam Hallsville Public Sch
Karen Himmelberg Southern Boone
Sarah Howard DBRL
Tracey Huang MAC
Jack Jensen FCFC
Karen Jimerson Hallsville Public Sch
Alicia Jobe CPS
Janeene Johnston LCFS
Rachel Keyalt Launch
Mernell King Head Start
Nancy Knipping MU
Verna Laboy Worley Srt. Rndtbl
Belinda Masters CPS PAT
Teresa McClure Harrisburg
Kathy Norden Kathy’s Kids
Joanne Nelson BOCOCSF
Phil Peters MU/C2CA
Lynn Proctor Harrisburg Pub Sch
Cindy Reese DHSS
Janet Robison Child Care Aware
Mary Rook CPS Pre-school
Ron Rowe Rc2 /C2CA
Marisa Sherbo CPS
Elizabeth Purcelli  mom
Karen Smith Hallsville PAT
Tami Strodman Harrisburg Pub Sch
Melody Vieth CMCA Headstart
Laura Warbritton Centralia R-IV
Julia White  Ashland
Laine Young-Walker  MU

WECCAN CHARTER

Purpose:

The Boone county Early Childhood Network is dedicated to ensuring that all Boone County children will enter kindergarten prepared to succeed.

Problem:

Boone County children who lack access to quality early childhood experiences and nurturing environments are unprepared for kindergarten success. Research shows that young children who start school behind have difficulty closing the learning gap. Children unprepared to learn impact the education of all children.

Scope:

All members of the Boone County Early Childhood Collaborative Action Network will take action steps to promote school readiness for all Boone County children.

WECCAN ACTION ITEMS

  • In order to increase the quality of childcare facilities, secure funding for any interested childcares in Boone County to be provided with a state approved curriculum, the training to use it, and follow up coaching on its implementation.
  • Refine a common set of standards for kindergarten readiness for all of Boone County known as “One Voice Boone County”. Present the K readiness standards in both childcare and parent friendly language.
  • Communicate the learning of the Early Childhood Collaborative Action Network (WECCAN). Information should include the importance of balanced childcare and kindergarten curricula, kindergarten readiness standards, characteristics of quality childcare, etc. Communication should be molded, as appropriate, for childcare providers, K-12 educators, parents, community members, the legislature and the business community.
  • Develop parent partnerships to inform parents of early childhood issues, ways to provide support for their children, how to develop pre-readiness skills and child protective factors, answer questions and offer parent to parent forum opportunities to assist with resolving parenting issues.

Actions are projected to begin in the fall of 2016.  Each Action will be assessed for effectiveness in addition to the yearly monitoring of the number of students ready for kindergarten.