COTS to Benefit from $1.25 Million Grant Awarded to UVM for Early Childhood Education Program

Posted On October 26, 2012 By | 2 Comments on COTS to Benefit from $1.25 Million Grant Awarded to UVM for Early Childhood Education Program

We are so excited to share the success of Jennifer Hurley, program coordinator for University of Vermont‘s early childhood special education program and assistant professor of education, in securing a $1.25 million grant from the Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs.

The grant will be used to cover tuition of seniors who are a part of the Early Childhood Education Program and interning at the Trinity Children’s Center (TCC), a nonprofit early childhood facility.

UVM’s Early Childhood Education Program is designed to train students how to best meet the needs of children facing the specific challenges of disability and the increasingly common situation of homelessness.  But how big a challenge is homelessness to children?

Rita Markley, our Executive Director, reports the number of Vermont children under the age of five living in emergency shelters and overflow motels has tripled since 2008.

And according to Hurley, “Families with young children are one of the most rapidly increasing groups with homelessness nationwide. Nearly 1/4 of all homeless people are under the age of six, so there’s a real need for intentional collaboration between agencies that provide services for families experiencing homelessness, including Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Ed agencies.”

She stresses that students learning to become teachers must learn the importance of research-based methods for serving these homeless children and their families. Pre-service experiences in family shelters are a key part of this understanding.

And that’s where COTS comes in. COTS will be a key site where students will come to be trained in the newest techniques in early childhood education.  In shelter they will have the opportunity to become familiar with the challenges of this population and simultaneously share the benefits of their research.  Our family shelter sites will greatly benefit from the best practices and curriculum developed through this program.

To learn more about this exciting new early childhood education program, read UVM’s update by Jon Reidel here.

Categories: COTS Shelters, Homelessness
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2 responses to “COTS to Benefit from $1.25 Million Grant Awarded to UVM for Early Childhood Education Program”

  1. Kitty Bartlett says:

    This is wonderful news for COTS, Trinity and our community. As a former Trinity parent, I’ve had the opportunity to see first-hand the incredible work of the UVM students. I have also witnessed the transformative power of strong early childhood development programming. Trinity is the best and does an amazing job delivering a rich curriculum to a very diverse group of kids. So excited for this grant and what it means for building the capacity of early childhood development professionals to better understand, support and create stability and security for vulnerable children and families.