Florida Voluntary Prekindergarten Scores Rise With New Curriculum

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Manatee Community Action Agency implements The InvestiGator Club to overhaul curriculum and boost readiness rates.

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'The InvestiGator Club taps into children’s curiosity and sense of wonder by connecting play, imagination and content to the real world,' said Judith Coffey, CEO of Robert-Leslie Publishing.

Evaluation data released by the Manatee Community Action Agency (MCAA), home of Manatee County’s Head Start Voluntary Pre-K (VPK), demonstrates that readiness rates have increased for a majority of its schools over the past three years. The agency attributes its success to a new curriculum, The InvestiGator Club Prekindergarten Learning System®, a comprehensive inquiry-based program of instruction, teacher support, and materials for the preschool classroom from Robert-Leslie Publishing.

Three years ago, MCAA VPK sites were put on probation for performing at a low level. This provided MCAA with the opportunity to try a new curriculum to help teachers deliver more effective instruction. After piloting The InvestiGator Club during a summer program, the curriculum was implemented at all eight agency schools.

“Implementing an entirely new curriculum was a daunting task,” said Kathy Patreka, Head Start director for MCAA. “Many of our educators were apprehensive about making the switch. However, once they saw the potential of The InvestiGator Club, teachers were excited to begin using the program in their classrooms.”

After one year, six of the eight VPK sites increased their readiness rate scores, with three sites earning scores high enough to boost them out of low performing status. Palmetto, one of the VPK program sites, increased its readiness rate from 47 to 70 percent in 2012-13. Another VPK site, Pine Village, achieved a 92 percent readiness—the highest rate ever scored at MCAA.

“The InvestiGator Club taps into children’s curiosity and sense of wonder by connecting play, imagination, and content to the real world,” said Judith Coffey, CEO of Robert-Leslie Publishing. “Purposeful inquiry, the heart of this curriculum, challenges children to use their senses, ask questions, and find the answers in a supportive, language- and literacy-rich environment.”

More information about MCAA’s success using The InvestiGator Club is available in a recent case study from Robert-Leslie Publishing.

About The InvestiGator Club®
The InvestiGator Club Prekindergarten Learning System is a fully integrated, developmentally appropriate curriculum that utilizes children's natural curiosity to build skills in ten critical learning domains, including language, literacy, science, and math. Evidence gathered from an extensive national study conducted by the Educational Research Institute of America (ERIA) with more than 500 children in 32 classrooms shows that this learning system is significantly effective with all groups of children, including those considered "at-risk." InvestiGator Club products have received numerous awards, including the Teacher's Choice Award and Creative Child Magazine's Kids Product of the Year, Preferred Choice Award, and Seal of Excellence. For more information, contact customer.service(at)robert-leslie(dot)com or visit the website at http://www.investigatorclub.com.

About Robert-Leslie Publishing
Robert-Leslie Publishing, The Early Childhood Company® is dedicated to the principle that the early years are the most valuable time to build the foundation for a child's lifetime of success. The company's founders, James and Judith Coffey (CEO), with more than thirty years of educational publishing experience, assembled a team of early childhood experts in 2005, to accomplish RLP's mission of helping children succeed through the publication of research-based learning materials. For more information, visit http://www.robert-leslie.com/

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Chris Swietlik
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