Partnership with School Corporation
Tim and Kay Flesch Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
The postdoctoral fellow will spend a half-day a week at a local early childhood program in direct collaboration with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC). The purpose of this partnership is to provide ongoing education for parents about early developmental issues and also to work directly in providing resources for children in the program through groups, consultation and follow-up services.
The EVSC Early Childhood Learning Center Initiative is one of the five core focus areas to improve student achievement as part of the EVSC Strategic Plan. Currently, almost half of the community's children do not receive early childhood education before entering kindergarten, starting them at a disadvantage.
The purpose of this initiative is to increase the number of children receiving a quality early childhood education in our community in order to decrease the achievement gap. The key partner is Community Action Program of Evansville (CAPE)/Head Start. Other community partners include Lampion, Evansville Public Library, University of Southern Indiana, First Presbyterian Church, Early Childhood Development Coalition and the City of Evansville Department of Metropolitan Development.
The postdoctoral fellow will spend most of this collaboration at the Early Childhood Learning Center housed at Culver Community School. Culver serves approximately 200 children (ages 3-5) in a variety of programming including six Head Start classrooms, early childhood special education assessment and developmental preschool classes, and an Even Start Family Literacy program. The school is located in one of the highest poverty communities in Evansville (2009-2010 free reduced lunch rate 98% for prior Culver students).
The fellow will participate directly in an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) inclusion classroom designed specifically for children ages 3-5 diagnosed with an ASD. The STAR program (Strategies for Teaching based on Autism Research) is used as the primary curriculum in the classroom. Children from Even Start and Title 1 programs are also enrolled. The fellow will collaborate with the EVSC team as part of the initial evaluation, and will also provide ongoing consultation. The focus of the classroom is creating a model environment that can be replicated at other locations.