Sunday, August 15, 2004

Helping Children Succeed from Birth to School

Since April 2002, Georgia Public Broadcasting has been part of the Five Star Alliance for Children, a consortium made up of the state broadcasting networks from Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi and designed to share best practices in early childhood development with parents, caregivers, and teachers. The primary project currently being undertaken by the alliance is the Birth to School initiative, which comprises Right From Birth and Going to School, two special video series developed by Mississippi Public Broadcasting and based on the research of internationally recognized child development experts Drs. Craig and Sharon Ramey.

Right From Birth features twelve thirty-minute episodes that help parents and caregivers to better understand the stages of development through which children pass from birth to until 18 months of age. The series is broken into three sections. The first four episodes address emotional and social development in infants and discuss issues such as brain development, people skills, learning and intelligence, and point of view. The fifth episode examines seven essential principles for positive child development, which include encouraging exploration, mentoring, celebrating, rehearsing and extending new skills, protecting, guiding and limiting behavior, and communicating. The sixth through eleventh episodes examine the successive developmental stages from birth to 18 months, such as establishing trust, discovering the world, and a becoming social being.

Going to School, which is designed for the parents and caregivers of children ages three to five, picks up where Right From Birth leaves off and assists with the preparation of children for successful entry into school. The series begins with an examination of responsive care-giving and a review of the seven essentials for positive child development. Once the essentials have been covered, Going to School shows parents and caregivers ways they can help children to learn and practice the essentials during their daily routines both at home and at preschool. Information about how to choose a quality childcare program as well as learning opportunities such as English as a Second Language is also available. Finally, the series offers tips on how to establish successful communication with schools and teachers regarding a child's education.

For more information or to order VHS copies and support materials for Right From Birth or Going to School, visit the GPB Education website at and click on the Original Programming icon.