Opening 2012-2013 School Year!
H.O.P.E. Ministries, Inc. desires to help children excel academically and in life, by providing a high quality early childcare and education program that will adequately prepare children ages 2 to 5 years to enter the school system and provide supportive services to their families. The Academy of H.O.P.E. seeks to improve academic readiness for students, provide parents with affordable and accessible child care, provide a safe and stable environment for children to learn that decreases their potential of being at- risk, and provide essential community resources and supportive services to families that empower them to build strong healthy families that ultimately also build stronger communities.
The Academy of H.O.P.E. is a faith-based, licensed, full-day, year round, high quality early childcare and education program for children ages 2-5 years in the inner-city community of Southeast Atlanta. The mission of The Academy is to provide a safe, nurturing environment that promotes the intellectual, social, emotional, physical and moral development of each individual child. We encourage strong parental and community involvement in the educational process of the children we serve. It is our belief that in order to provide a solid foundation for future school success, we must build a support system that includes local community partners, parents and grandparents, churches, and businesses. We desire not only to provide affordable child care, but to empower and strengthen our families and community at large. Our program will aim:
- To implement and maintain a healthy, positive, cohesive environment that stimulates appropriate developmental growth in each child;
- To encourage and foster a positive self image within each child;
- To promote the development of cognitive, social/emotional, physical and language skills;
- To provide support services to families and enhance family structure and build community.
Curriculum Design: A Beka Book and High/Scope
Research shows that alignment is a critical factor for improving the quality of education. Our alignment model will be based on four methods which include the following early developmental areas: cognitive, language, physical, social/emotional. The Academy of H.O.P.E. has chosen High/Scope and A Beka Book Curriculum as the core curriculum.
The High/Scope curriculum was selected because it is a curriculum that promotes active learning through the use of 58 key experiences in child development. These "key experiences" are activities that foster developmentally important skills and abilities. The key experiences are grouped into ten categories: creative representation, language and literacy, initiative and social relations, movement, music, classification, seriation, number, space and time. The space and materials in a High/Scope program are carefully selected and arranged to promote active learning.
The Academy also chose to utilize the A Beka Book curriculum in order to promote the moral development of each child, also in keeping with our mission. The Academy is a faith based program, and this curriculum is built upon the firm foundation of Scriptural truth. Through the use of this curriculum, students going through the Bible program will become thoroughly acquainted with the basic portions of scripture as they acquire knowledge in the subjects of History, Math, Science, and English.
Both High/Scope and A Beka Book curriculums serve to complement each other in fulfilling The Academy's mission to develop the whole child: intellectually, physically, socially, emotionally, and morally. These curriculums also are in alignment with Georgia Performance Standards because they encourage the following: development of critical thinking skills and problem solving when performing mathematical concepts, mastery of reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills for effective communication, hands-on and student-centered approach when investigating the world around them through science, understanding of basic concepts of cultural and physical geography and introduction to American history through symbols, and demonstration of competency in motor skills and movement patterns in order to perform numerous activities.
The organization and characteristics of The Academy's classrooms vary according to age group and are designed to stimulate learning. Although students are grouped in classrooms primarily according to age, special consideration is given to students who demonstrate unique emotional, physical, or intellectual needs. A description of typical classrooms by age group follows:
Two to Three Year Olds
The two to three year classrooms encourages use of gross and fine motor skills in tandem through activities such as standing and picking up small objects. Manipulative toys are used to promote eye-hand coordination. Outdoor games are introduced to enable the child to master gross motor coordination. The classroom emphasizes daily routines and social interaction through family style meals and other small group activities. A variety of flash cards, picture books, songs, and skits are used to promote recognition of colors, shapes and numbers. Children listen to stories to build listening skills and foster imagination and are often asked to repeat the stories to develop memory recognition. To facilitate parental involvement, staff members provide weekly progress reports.
Three to Four Year Olds
For students three to four years old, more emphasis is placed on academic readiness skills than in the earlier years. Children learn to recognize an expanded range of shapes and begin counting. In addition, techniques are used to enhance the child's ability to associate groups of letters with spoken words, and children are encouraged to tell stories through figures and symbols. Staff members stimulate the child's understanding of cause and effect and inquisitiveness through activities that present real –world situations. Age-appropriate, interactive computer programs are introduced for the first time. Support and involvement of parents are developed through weekly progress reports.
Four to Five Year Olds
The four to five year classrooms focus specifically on early literacy skills development. Children exercise pre-reading skills through the use and mastery of sight words and small books. Emphasis is also placed on healthy social, emotional, and moral development through the introduction of character education curriculum and various forms of recreational play. Children in these classrooms begin to understand the concept of community through the formulation of their relationships with one another. Students in this age group build on a solid academic and moral foundation that will not only prepare them for school readiness, but also success in life.
Throughout the day every instructional activity will focus on early literacy and critical thinking skills development. Instruction is divided into six rich, thematically organized core competency areas that will provide an excellent foundation for school readiness:
- Literacy/Pre-reading/Language Development;
- Social Studies;
- Character Education