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RCSD’s Early Childhood Department Presents Ready to Learn Program to Statewide Audience

(May 29, 2024) Representatives from the Rochester City School District’s Early Childhood Department proudly represented the District at a New York State Association for the Education of Young Children (NYAEYC) conference in Syracuse earlier this month. 

Adult family educators Bonita Williams and Paulette Vacarro joined WXXI’s Cara Rager to share insightful information on Ready to Learn, a multi-year initiative that supports teachers and families in educating our youngest learners.   

In a session titled “Playful Learning with PBS Kids,” Williams, Vaccaro, and Rager explained the art of integrating play and meaningful media into early learning environments.  Drawing upon NYAEYC principles and the NYAEYC/Fred Rogers Center position statement, the session explored innovative approaches to engage young learners across various settings.  Participants learned more about the power of play and how it can be enhanced through purposeful media integration, enriching the educational journey of young students.

The second session, “Family Engagement with PBS Kids,” showcased the collaborative efforts of WXXI and PBS Kids to promote family engagement in education.  Participants learned about the PBS Kids family engagement model and how it can foster strong family connections and learning experiences.  Additionally, attendees left the session with an array of free resources courtesy of PBS Kids, empowering them to extend learning beyond the classroom and into the home environment. 

In 2019, the RCSD’s Early Childhood Department received honors from the New York State Broadcasters Association for its Ready to Learn program as the recipient of the New York State Broadcasters Association’s “Serving New York Awards.”  The Ready to Learn program provides professional development workshops to RCSD early PreK and Universal PreK teachers through ongoing learning opportunities.