We believe that education is an important pathway out of poverty and that high-quality early childhood education, family engagement and early social-emotional learning provide the foundation for school success.

ELF Resource and Training Center

In 2013, we opened the first ELF Resource and Training Center at Andrew H. Wilson Charter School in the Broadmoor neighborhood of New Orleans. The Center provides a venue for collaboration among all people involved in caring for and educating community children and enables limited funding to be stretched by providing resources efficiently and effectively to a variety of early childhood programs and classrooms and children by creating a system for sharing resources.

The Center is outfitted with early childhood resources, including books, games, CDs and theme boxes with props, most of which are available for loan to community early childhood educators. Materials are chosen, based on best practices described in the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS), and skills and concepts highlighted in the Common Core Standards for Kindergarten, and Louisiana Early Learning Standards.

Materials are arranged in “learning centers,” including Dramatic Play, Art, Blocks, Creative Writing, Library, Science, Water and Sand Play, Games and Puzzles, Math and Manipulatives, and Listening that can serve as models and teaching tools for professional development sessions that will be held in the Center. In addition, the Center has a “Make and Take” section with both instructions and supplies, where teachers can create customized activities and games to meet specific curricular or student needs.

Center Staff

Center staff help teachers find appropriate resources for their classrooms on an ongoing basis. Realizing that time is almost as important to teachers as access to the resources themselves, we have created a system whereby teachers can email their planned curriculum in all subject areas to early childhood curriculum experts and receive, in response, lists of developmentally appropriate resources, materials and ideas for activities.

Center staff help implement special activities in the classrooms and periodically visits each classroom to help with enhancing the learning environment, especially centers.

In the summer of 2015, we opened an ELF Resource and Training Center at the Homer Plessy Community School to serve teachers, families, neighboring childcare centers, and community members.

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