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Success in Career and Life Starts in the Early Grades

Author: Helios Education Foundation

Helios Education Foundation is dedicated to creating opportunities for individuals in
Arizona and Florida to succeed in postsecondary education. As a result, we strategically partner to ensure more students are academically prepared at every stage of the education continuum — from early learning through postsecondary education.

As part of ensuring our earliest learners are ready to succeed when they enter first grade, we are working with our partners to provide professional development for early childhood educators across Florida, we are implementing a dual language learning initiative in Central Florida that will contribute to early learning best practices and we have researched the impact of early learning assessments on teacher instructional strategies.

In 2014, Helios invested in an initiative called Early Learning Florida — developed in conjunction with the University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning — which created a job embedded professional development system for early childhood professionals statewide. In 2017, we infused additional resources into this effort, further developing the platform and expanding its resources in both English and Spanish.

While teacher professional development is a key component to student success, so is enhancing students╩╝ language and literacy skills through dual language learning.

We are excited to be working with Orange County Public Schools, the Orlando Repertory Theatre and Arizona State University on a dual language learning initiative in Orange County that is improving the early literacy skills of hundreds of preschoolers.

In addition, Helios is engaged in the important discourse of aligned and age appropriate assessments. Whether child assessment is for a targeted population or universal programs, the use of child data as the single basis for accountability, research affirms, is ineffective.

A strong education system builds a strong economy, and we look forward to working with education advocates across Florida to ensure that every student in this state has the opportunity to attend and is prepared to succeed in postsecondary education.

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