Intentional Learning with a Unique Curriculum
Story by Monika Garner-Smith, M. Ed., Co-Founder and Director of ACCESS Early Childhood
I have been blessed to be a co-creator of the ACCESS Early Childhood curriculum that started with a small class of four-year-olds and has continued to evolve for 25 years! The philosophy behind our curriculum is that language is the key to not only future academic success, but for participating in everyday life and developing relationships.
Vocabulary at the age of three is the number one indicator of future academic success by the end of second grade.
Language skills correlate with reading and writing, so we tackle both head-on by teaching language through our literacy-based approach. By focusing on the action, character and concepts in a story, we can teach language not only functionally, but in a fun, dramatic, multi-sensory way. This approach also simultaneously teaches early literacy and phonological skills and has proven to be successful in preparing children for their next level of education.
The beauty of our unique curriculum is that both children with developmental delays and typical learners can learn side by side. Using our language tools, technology, and team approach, we are able to use this curriculum to promote the language concepts on which our students with delays depend. We are able to expand the literacy concepts to meet the needs of our above average learners, giving every child the opportunity to expand their individual potential.
"We have been at the ACCESS Early Childhood program for just a few months, and we are amazed at how well our son and daughter are doing in the classroom. The teachers are so wonderful and so are the therapists who work with them. Our only regret is not knowing about ACCESS earlier!"