JACKSON, Miss. – Families First for MS, along with MS Community Education Center, has partnered with the MS Community College Board and Department of Human Services to offer ongoing high quality, professional early childhood development and technical assistance to childcare providers and families statewide through its Early Childhood Academy (ECA).
According to the MS Department of Education, research shows that students who do not achieve grade level literacy by the 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than those who do. When students enter fourth grade with strong reading skills, they are better positioned for success in the classroom, high school graduation, and readiness for college or a good job.
Families First hosts programs throughout the state, that provide parents and childcare professionals with resources to promote literacy instruction. These programs include: seminars and training for early childhood professionals on the Mississippi Early Learning Standards and Guidelines, technology-based literacy instruction for adults and literary assessments; book drives and supporting literacy campaigns in schools and childcare centers; early childhood academy coaches and resource and referral associates that support childcare centers; lending libraries at Families First Resource Centers located throughout the state for parents and childcare providers; and training for parents on literacy strategies to use at home with children.
Families First also provides resources to promote high quality early childhood education and youth literacy, adult literacy and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. Its literacy programs offer evidence-based remedial reading skills and training for children and adults, individualized curriculum pathways, and skill development in the key areas of literacy, phonics and phonemic awareness, vocabulary development, reading fluency, reading comprehension strategies, and writing skills.