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Texas School Ready! certifies pre-k classrooms


Number of certified pre-k classrooms nearly double in Texas
The Children’s Learning Institute awards 2009-2010 certifications

HOUSTON – (Sept. 22, 2009)-Pre-kindergarten teachers will be rewarded this week for their dedication to preparing their students for kindergarten when their classrooms receive Texas School Ready! certification.

For the 2009-2010 school year, 2,084 classrooms are receiving certification through a state-funded evaluation system led by the Children’s Learning Institute (CLI) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Last year, 1, 123 classrooms were certified.

Barrick Elementary School in the Houston Independent School District (HISD) is one of 19 HISD schools with classrooms that have been singled out as preparing children for kindergarten.

“Being Texas School Ready! certified shows parents that we are providing the best possible early childhood education available,” said Yolanda Y. Garrido, principal at Barrick Elementary School. “The road to college begins in pre-k. If we prepare our students to be school ready, we also prepare them for lifelong learning and success. “

To achieve certification, teachers at pre-schools and centers apply to CLI and provide information about their classrooms. CLI then studies information provided by Texas public school districts to assess those students’ early reading and social development skills after they advance to kindergarten. The annual certification demonstrates that children who graduated from these pre-k classrooms went to public kindergarten with the fundamental skills in place to be successful.

Licensed childcare care providers, Head Start or public pre-k classrooms can all voluntarily apply to CLI for the certification.

“This certification recognizes the strong leadership of local community leaders in implementing the Texas School Ready! Project and in taking a proven, focused approach to ensure that all children, including those at-risk, receive the support they need to enter school ready to learn,” said Susan Landry, Ph.D., Albert and Margaret Alkek Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Education and executive director of CLI at the UT Health Science Center. “This project continues to succeed for children because of the support of not only parents, teachers and community leaders,” said Landry, “but the support of our elected and appointed leaders in Austin.”

For information, to apply or to find out which classrooms are accredited with Texas School Ready! certification, log onto www.texasschoolready.org or call 1-800-315-7204.

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