Student in City School District of Albany using microscope graphic link to Board of Education pages graphic link to school directory pages graphic link to school pages
box bullet

HOME

box bullet About Us
box bullet

Academics

box bullet

After-School and Extended-Day Care

box bullet

Albany A-Z

box bullet

Albany Booster Club and School PTAs

box bullet

Albany Fund for Education

box bullet

Alumni

box bullet

Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR)

box bullet Art
box bullet Assurance of Discontinuance
box bullet

Athletics

box bullet Bids/RFPs
box bullet Buildings and Grounds
box bullet

Calendar

box bullet

Dignity for All Students Act

box bullet

Early Childhood

box bullet

Employment

box bullet ENL and Refugee Services
box bullet

Feedback

box bullet Grade Configuration/Middle School Enrollment
box bullet

Grants and Program Development

box bullet

Hall of Fame

box bullet Human Resources
box bullet

Library

box bullet

Music

box bullet

News

box bullet

Parent University

box bullet

Professional Development

box bullet

Programs and Services

box bullet Pupil Personnel Services
box bullet Receivership
box bullet

Search Our Site

box bullet

Student Registration

box bullet Summer School

box bullet

Volunteering

box bullet

Website Accessibility

  Alternate document versions available by request: 518.475.6065
Back to Communications Home

District targets youngest learners with playgroup

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 25, 2018) – The youngest future Falcons in the City School District of Albany enrolled in their first ever class Tuesday. It’s called “Play, Learn, Soar,” and it’s a brand new early education program offered to infants and children up to age 3 at Arbor Hill Elementary School.

 

“I want them to make friends and be comfortable with other people,” said Elaine Evans, who attended with her 8- and 19-month-olds. “Then they won’t be nervous when they start school.”

 

The monthly playdate allows caregivers and their children to participate in activities together and separately. Its goal is to promote healthy parent-child relationships, early literacy, and it stresses the importance of a strong school-home partnership.

 

“It will empower parents and encourage them to recognize the role they play in their child’s development,” said Shanae Lawrence, Arbor Hill Elementary’s community school coordinator who implemented the first-of-its-kind program in the district. “Through this approach, we hope that it will assist with improving future student academic success.”

 

The district has offered more than 1,000 prekindergarten seats for 3- and 4-year-old students for many years at all 12 elementary schools and at several community locations in partnership with local agencies. “Play, Learn, Soar” aims to engage students at even younger ages, another way the district is working to close the achievement gap.

 

“We are providing a familiar and convenient environment for our parents and community members to get involved in,” Lawrence said. “Through PLS we can establish relationships, encourage parents to get more involved, and eventually work together on improving our student’s academic performance.”

 

During the first playdate Tuesday, the five little ones who attended played together, read stories, danced, sang and enjoyed a healthy snack.

 

District staff and community partners, like the Child Care Council and Albany Barn, provided tips to the moms on how to best engage their children in their early years and offer fun activities that double as learning activities.

 

"I want her to experience something good for her so she can bond with me and other babies,” said Lashay Morris, who attended with her 9-month-old.

 

The program is made possible through the annual Community Schools funding the district receives from the state ($3.5 million for the 2018-19 school year district-wide). In addition to Arbor Hill Elementary, Tony Clement Center for Education, Giffen Memorial Elementary School, Philip J. Schuyler Achievement Academy, Sheridan Preparatory Academy and Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST) are also community schools.

 

Community schools goals include providing services for students, parents and guardians such as mental health, social, legal, career, English-language, parenting and adult educational services.

 

The next “Play, Learn, Soar” playdate at Arbor Hill Elementary is scheduled for Oct. 23 at 9:30 a.m. The program is free and open to anyone in Albany but registration is required.

 

If you have questions or would like to sign-up, please contact Lawrence at (518) 475-6628 or slawrence@albany.k12.ny.us.

 

The mission of the City School District of Albany is to work in partnership with our diverse community to engage every learner in a robust educational program designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for success. The district serves about 9,500 students in 18 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

         
Link to Board of Ed page Link to Directory page Link to Our Schools page