Rosemary Grier is being honored as a Champion of Change for her commitment to delivering on the promise of Head Start in her community, helping to educate and care for our youngest, most vulnerable children.
Innovation and creative thinking continues to drive the Baraga-Houghton-Keweenaw Child Development Board (BHK) as a leader in providing high-quality early childhood services to children and families. BHK families are offered opportunities to be involved with and gain knowledge about interactive literacy experiences, dual language, parenting skills, child development, and adult education. Our programs help families connect to health and wellness services, including pregnancy education, breast feeding support, home visiting, health and developmental screenings, and medical and dental care. BHK collaborates with 10 local school districts and more than 300 community partners.
It is an honor to be selected as a Head Start Champion of Change and represent BHK, a Center of Excellence in Early Childhood. I am also honored to be in a position that impacts the lives of children and families every day. As the President’s goal is to build an America that will win the future, I feel BHK is helping to build a future in our community. Change begins with one person, building and empowering others, creating momentum to make a difference. The leaders of BHK, past and present, have created opportunities for staff to step forward and be part of program improvement and community involvement. As a mentor coach/teacher, I have had the privilege to work with other teachers and assistant teachers to advance classroom practices. Together we identify strengths and areas of needed improvement, create and monitor goals, and spend time reflecting on the teaching experience, which is necessary to high quality professional practice.
BHK’s Early Childhood School Readiness Plan aligns with local, state and national standards and is the foundation for our strong kindergarten readiness success. We recognize that school readiness includes the readiness of the individual child, the school’s readiness for children and the capacity of the family and community to support optimal early childhood development. BHK provides the environment and experiences to support the whole child. As a teacher, I use assessments and observations to determine children’s developmental status, measure progress in meeting goals, guide planning and decision-making, and identify children who may benefit from additional support. If I identify a child at risk, I plan Response to Intervention (RtI) strategies. RtI was implemented in the fall of 2011at BHK to provide support in promoting the social-emotional development with a foundation that will enhance learning and literacy. Children who participated in the RtI program this year showed impressive growth in all areas. Families are actively engaged throughout the assessment process.
When working with children, families and community partners we can make a collective impact for positive change. BHK’s Core Values of Excellence, Integrity, Compassion, Inspiration, and Innovation have been a driving force to improve our internal systems and delivery services to children and families. I embrace these core values and am proud to be part of the BHK Child Development Board.
Rosemary Grier is a preschool Head Start Teacher and Mentor-Coach for BHK Child Development Board