Briya in New America Report!

KateNew America Report highlights successful dual language learner strategies in DC

A recent report from the New America Foundation focuses on DC policies and programs, including Briya, that excel at supporting young dual language learners.

The report, put out by New America’s Dual Language Learners National Work Group, points to a number of lessons policymakers in other areas of the country can learn from DC’s success. These lessons include designing programs that are tailored to each school’s needs, having committed school leadership, and using co-teaching models that integrate DLLs into the classroom.

A summary of Briya’s dual-generation program is featured on page 13 of the report.

“Student outcomes suggest that Briya’s family literacy model is having a significant and positive impact on kindergarten readiness,” the report states.

Read the full report here.

Miles Ahead Rally 2015

Briya families advocate for high-quality early education

IMG_8328Some of Briya’s smallest students stepped up to advocate for the importance of their education this fall.

Briya PreK students and their parents gathered on the grounds of the US Capitol to raise awareness of the benefits of early education during the Miles Ahead for Early Learning rally.

Children had a blast running in a relay race to remind policymakers that children get miles ahead when they have high-quality early learning opportunities. US senators, representatives and education leaders then spoke about the value of investing in early education and childcare for all children.

The rally was organized by Moms Rising, an organization that advocates for issues facing mothers and families nationwide.

Briya in New America

New America article highlights success of Briya’s family engagement model

Briya’s strategies for engaging the parents of dual language learners in their children’s education are featured as outstanding in an article by the New America Foundation.

Approaches that are part of Briya’s parenting classes and PACT time, including encouraging learning at home and providing parents with materials related to what children learned in class, are noted as excellent strategies. Briya’s partnership with Mary’s Center to provide further services to families is also cited as an excellent tactic.

The article praises Briya’s PreK outcomes, stating that the school has “seen great success: student language/literacy, mathematics and social-emotional learning (SEL) scores are nearly perfect, and SEL scores reach 100 percent.”

“[O]ther early education centers should learn from places like Briya … that have intentionally prioritized family engagement and incorporated it as an integral component of their program,” the article states.

Read the full article here.

Brookings Institution Study

Brookings Institution study shows benefits of Briya and Mary’s Center’s partnership

Briya’s partnership with Mary’s Center is featured in a study by the Brookings Institution as a valuable example of how schools and clinics can work together to strengthen communities.

“The combination of a school and clinic that function together as a ‘hub’ to provide healthcare, social services and education shows promise as a way to help improve social mobility in low-income neighborhoods,” according to the study.

In addition to the co-location of education, health and social services, the study cites the provision of education for parents and children simultaneously as a key strategy that contributes to Briya/Mary’s Center’s success. Researchers conclude that the combination of a dual-generation school and a clinic could be a model for others to follow.

“Briya/Mary’s Center is an interesting case of how a school-clinic hub can impact the medical, social and educational health of a community, potentially laying the foundation for greater economic mobility in a neighborhood,” the study says.

Read the full study here.

Briya Sweet Dreamzzz Training

Good night and Sweet Dreamzzz: Briya students learn about sleep

DSC03311Following his teacher’s lead, Samuel gently places his teddy bear in its cardboard bed, tucks the yellow blanket under its chin and whispers, “Good night.”

Samuel and his fellow Briya prekindergarten students were practicing bedtime routines as part of sleep education training provided by Sweet Dreamzzz, Inc., a nonprofit that educates at-risk children and their families on the importance of sleep in order to improve children’s health, well-being and academic performance.

The training began with a workshop for Briya adult students in which they learned a variety of sleep-related information, including recommended hours of sleep for different age groups, benefits of sleep (which include improved school performance) and how to create a bedtime routine for their children.

In a separate session, the organization trained Briya teachers in leading these parent workshops, equipping them to teach sleep education to future students.

After the parent workshop, Briya pre-kindergarteners spent two weeks learning about sleep in their classrooms. Teachers used materials provided by Sweet Dreamzzz to teach good sleep habits and the parts of a bedtime routine, such as eating a healthy snack and doing a relaxing activity like reading.

IMG_2592Each pre-k student received their own teddy bear, along with a cardboard box bed and a blanket for the bear. Students named their bear and decorated its bed and blanket.

Children then used their bears to practice the sleep skills they were learning in class. They read stories to their bears and put the bears to bed, covering them with the blanket. They also brought their bears to sleep with them during nap time every day.

On final day of the two-week period, pre-k students took their teddy bears home, well prepared for good sleep and school success!

Pre-K Studies

Studies provide pre-kindergarten students with in-depth learning

Pre-K classes at each of Briya’s three sites have been busy this winter doing studies on boxes, buildings, and clothing. Studies in pre-K classrooms last from six to ten weeks and allow preschoolers to dig deep into a particular topic.11008633_822205694482388_4717674375455413483_n


Boxes study at Bancroft site

Pre-K students at Briya’s Bancroft site did a study on boxes. They explored and used boxes in a variety of ways, including using their imagination to convert boxes into a police car, a spaceship, a snowman and more! They tested, discussed and evaluated a pulley system and a dolly. Students learned the difference between sturdy and flimsy boxes and talked about how fragile objects are often wrapped in boxes. Students also had the chance to be engineers. They designed and created their own sturdy boxes using various materials, tested the boxes’ strength with blocks, reinforced the weak points, decorated them and finally packed them with a fragile gift to take home to their parents.

 

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Building study at Georgia site

Georgia Avenue pre-K students investigated buildings. They read stories relating to building, such as Three Little Pigs and Tools Rule. They also discussed and explored a variety of questions, including: what are the parts of a building? what are buildings made of? who builds buildings? what tools do we use to build buildings? what happens inside buildings? and more. Students learned vocabulary words related to buildings, and these same words were highlighted in visually appealing ways along with learning activities and sent home to parents each week. The classroom was filled with their projects and pictures of buildings and building parts. They also visited the construction site near the school, went to a local design and building firm, had a visit from an architect, made a large blueprint for their classroom and had the chance to go on a field trip to the National Building Museum.

 

 

Clothing study at Ontario site

The two pre-K classes at Briya’s Ontario Road site spent time studying clothing. Guest speakers demonstrated how clothing is made, and students had the chance to practice sewing by hand with a needle and thread and ripping out seams with a seam ripper. In addition, students learned about uniforms and had a visit from DC firefighters, who explained how their uniforms protect them during fires. The unit also included a field trip to Target, where the children met employees, got a tour of the clothing section, and learned how clothing is organized and how price tags are attached.

New Preschool Class

Briya Pre-K program adapts to better serve students

The preschool program at Briya’s Ontario Road location has been expanded and improved for this school year.

Instead of having one large preschool class, as the site did previously, preschoolers are now divided into two slightly smaller classes. This enables Briya to serve more students, and the small size of the classes—each has ten students and two teachers—allows each child to receive individual attention.

Dedicated special education staff help work one-on-one and in small groups in each of the classes to meet individual needs and help with literacy and math.

The small class size also makes it easier for the children and their families to get to know one another.

The two classes, which are known as Sol and Luna, join together for activities like music lessons and trips to the park.

IMG_3642                           Lilo circle

Pre-K Students Dig into Learning

Pre-K students learn through gardening

IMG_4438This fall, preschoolers at Briya’s Ontario Road site have been learning in the garden! Children heard about how bulbs grow and looked at the different sizes of crocus, tulip, and daffodil bulbs before planting and watering them. In the spring, the children will get to see the bulbs they planted grow into flowers! 

Students also planted purple and yellow pansies in a pattern and learned a song about what flowers need to grow. This hands-on learning connects to lessons about trees and the way plants grow that students have been learning in the classroom. IMG_4385

 

 

 

 

 

Check out more pictures here!