I am pleased to introduce you to another YRDSB colleague of mine who happens to share the same first name with me! Joanne Trim is a Full-Day Kindergarten teacher who I had the good fortune to work with in the Building Blocks for Kindergarten (BBFK) program. As a first year Regional Teacher Leader, I really benefited from her support, as well as the support of our third partner Krista Keirstead.
I invited Joanne Trim to share with our blog readers what BBFK is all about and would like to thank her for agreeing to share her reflections with us!
Here are her insights:
BBFK started as a pilot program in 2007 and became part of a three year YRDSB research project. In 2007 it was offered at one test site. In 2008 it was offered at several P+ schools and continued to expand through 2009. In 2010, research indicated successful outcomes for the participants and funding was provided to merge programs previously offered by the YRDSB and Ontario Early Years Centres. In consultation with OEYC and Curriculum Services, BBFK became the standard program offered. At that point, there were 25 schools participating. This summer (2013) we hosted 42 programs! Most of the programs are located at Performance Plus schools, but many principals are now recognizing the power of the program and using OFIP funds to offer a class for their school. One principal at a Performance Plus school this past year realized the impact that BBFK had on JK students in the past and opened up a second program in his school by utilizing OFIP funds. His school hosts 6 FDK classrooms and this allowed 40 JK students to have a jump start on their learning journey.