AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with Amarillo College announced Friday that it has been selected to continue serving as the lead agent for the Texas School Ready project in the Texas Panhandle through 2023. Amarillo College will receive funding of $577,000 to support staff who will guide the project throughout the Texas Panhandle through the next two years.
According to a news release, the project is a comprehensive early childhood teacher training program which combines a research-based, state-adopted curriculum along with professional development and progress monitoring tools. The project’s goal is to help children prepare to enter school, impacting their early learning experiences and environments for those who are at risk.
The college has partnered with the Children’s Learning Institute at the University of Texas’s Health Science Center at Houston to implement the project in two year cycles. While the project has focused on pre-kindergarten classrooms in the past, officials stated in the release the project will now “implement a birth-to-five model that offers opportunities for preschool, as well as infant and toddler classrooms based on the community’s needs.”
According to the release, the college’s staff will provide professional development, coaching, child progress monitoring and classroom curriculum materials. The college serves 25 childcare centers, head start programs and school district classrooms throughout the region, impacting around 650 children every year.
“Texas School Ready is an initiative that has been proven to improve school readiness, and Amarillo College is pleased to be able to help provide these valuable services to the youngest learners in our area,” Rochelle Fouts, program coordinator of the college’s education department, said in the release.