Strengthening Families – Programs for Parents & Teachers
Empowering Parents to Be Their Child’s First Teacher
The Readiness Basket, a bilingual (English and Spanish) training program, is an exciting interactive parent and child learning workshop series. This has been offered in selected schools, community sites, and family resource centers in Arizona for more than 11 years.
The program is meant for parents, caregivers, and their young children aged 0 – 5. During the series of 11-14 2-hour instructional sessions, parents discuss issues vital to parenting, brain development, the importance of play, discipline techniques, and school readiness. Participants will:
What makes Readiness Basket Program different?
Staff (2) trained and certified as professional facilitators (trainers)
- Preview and attention catching
- Guided Conversation
- Play to Learn interactive child practice time
- Reflection and feedback
Building consistency, confidence in one’s own cultural values and practices, improving self-image, seeing self as a thinker/learner, encourages parental leadership and problem solving while nurturing the development of foundational content skills and understandings.
Staff - bilingual (Spanish/English); can accommodate speakers of other languages.
Program curricula deeply based in research emphasizing developing thinking, social, personal development skills, and that “play” is not frivolous for both parent and child.
- Curricula methods empower parent/child interactions and advocacy
- Multisensory materials using all the senses include activities from handouts, books, manuals, & manipulatives – created from items found around the house.
- Sessions designed around functional literacy involving developing competence in foundations skills of reading, writing, and voicing ideas and opinions.
- Content integrates themes & activities from Arizona State Toddler and Early Childhood Standards and when possible, developmental and sensory screenings results.
- A menu of services can be selected that includes Readiness Basket Series Workshops, Parent Academy topical parent education classes, Developmental & Sensory Screening, Literacy Events, & Strengthening Families activities.
- Formal or informal Pre & Post based on need
Basic Sessions and Topics
Classes may take place in a different order, and some topics are discussed for several days. Session 8: Child Development Stages, the Arizona Early Learning Standards, and the screening information will be continuously reviewed during the entire series. A referral system for case management is used when screening results or other family needs are noted in the class. Small items may come under the class support system, while others may require referrals to First Things First Resource Centers, schools, state or local agencies, Developmental screenings may be partnered with the Valley of the Sun United Way’s Family Access hub. Additional vision and hearing screenings may be partnered with other agencies or Ali grants.
Samples of Additional Events Developed Through Both the Readiness Basic
Health and Education Support Projects for Parents and Caregivers With Children 0 – 5 Years
History, Evidenced-Based Content, and Methods
The Readiness Basket, originally the Learning Basket, is an updated Arizona program that was originally created by K. Elise Packard, Ph.D. for the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA-USA) to help parents with children 0 – 3 years old.
The Learning Basket was used in 43 countries. In 2006, the ICA consolidated their offices delegating the delivery of programs to its broad network of trainers, associates, and partner organizations. Partners in Participation, the Valley of the Sun United Way, and Arizona Learning Institute continued these services and updated the program to include new and expanded readiness curriculum areas.
The program was renamed The Readiness Basket in 2006 and is offered to parents from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds who have children aged 0 – 5 (60 mos,). It has been used in 75 programs at 22 Arizona sites, serving more than 1400 children. This included developing parent awareness of Arizona’s Early Childhood Toddler and Preschool Standards, partnering with the Open Doors curriculum, placing emphasis on Get Ready to Read Literacy, Ages and Stages Developmental and Sensory Screenings.
Following a two year (2016-18), Arizona State University evaluation the Readiness Basket, was found to be a strong Evidenced Informed Program. The program is currently evaluated with the University of Kansas’ Friends National Resource Center’s pre and post Strengthening Families survey tools measuring the 5 Protective Family Factors. These factors of Family Functions/Resiliency, Social & Concrete Support, Nurturing & Attachment, and Knowledge of Parenting & Child Development give trainers information for individual support as well as overall workshop progress assessment for changes that may be needed.