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Advocacy Outreach
200 Depot Street,
P. O. Box 169, Elgin,
Texas 78621

Phone 512 281-4180
FAX 512 281-9599








Early Childhood Development Center

    Advocacy Outreach operates an Early Childhood Development Center on the Excel Campus of Manor ISD located at 600 Parsons St, Manor. The Center serves the children of parents who are participants in our Family Literacy Program. The goal of the Early Childhood Development Center is to help prepare very young children for success in a literate world. English language acquisition, vocabulary development, problem-solving, and alphabet recognition are encouraged in age-appropriate and fun learning activities. The staff maintains an understanding of the current research in child brain development and learning. Training is provided annually to keep staff “on the cutting edge” of teaching strategies and best practices in the field of early childhood development. 

    Learning stations are strategically arranged to encourage exploratory play. A very low child-to-staff ratio is maintained so that children get lots of individual attention. Two research-based curricula guide the group activities: Partners for Literacy, developed by Drs.Wasik and Sparling of the Abecedarian Project, and the Letter People. Children learn in a playful way in peer groups and in groups of parent-child pairs. Photos

    Each week, parents study a Learning Game, a simple activity that demonstrates a literary or cognitive concept (i.e., the difference between “big and little”, more vocabulary “large and small;” or turning pages left to right, tracking text left to right) and then, paired with their child, they play the game until the concept is mastered. These sessions are known as Parents and Children Together (PACT). The partnership of trained parents and instructors in the education of young children enhances and reinforces the preschool experience. 

    Children who have participated in this program enter school with a strong basis in pre-K and Kindergarten concepts. In assessment surveys of the English language skills of second-language learners entering Kindergarten and First Grade in Elgin (2005), children from the Even Start program out-performed their peers. (Our program name has changed to the Family Literacy Program.) Research has shown that one of the predictors of continuing academic success is vocabulary—the more words a child knows when he enters school, the more likely he is to excel through elementary and secondary school.

Can parents use the Early Childhood Development Center without taking classes, themselves?

No. Families must participate in all components. 
A parent must attend pre-secondary level (below high school graduate level) classes in English as a Second Language, Adult Basic Education or Adult Secondary Education (GED Preparation). Teen parents may attend ISD classes (high school level or below). Parents must attend 15 hours of adult education weekly. Classes are available in the daytime or evening.
Infants and children below the age of preschool must also attend classes at the Early Childhood Development Center. The children of teen parents must attend early childhood classes offered by Manor ISD.
Additionally, parents must attend a class in Parenting Education (currently offered on Thursdays at Manor Excel Campus) and participate in a session called Parents and Children Together (PACT) with activities for parents and children in which parents help their children develop literacy skills through fun learning games.

If a parent has children older than 8 years and no younger children, may the parent join the Family Literacy Programs?

No. But the parent may attend adult education classes in English as a Second Language, Adult Basic Education or GED Preparation.