Kentucky's investment in our practice, our vision, and this mission has propelled change. Many people are passionate about creating better outcomes. But, it often requires an opportunity to make ideas come to fruition and create a greater impact.
Receiving the Preschool Partnership Grant through the Kentucky Department of Education has been a catalyst for innovation. Change is challenging. It is difficult to acknowledge systems, processes and even habits that need to be broken and completely reconstructed within the field of Early Childhood Education. Embracing new ideas, new practices and different approaches is a tough transition. It is not just about creating a new system; it is about exploring entirely new territories.
The opportunity for innovation has required unconventional thinking. The concept itself, of a public-private partnership, is a dichotomy. From it's conception, it has blurred lines and pushed for a conversation surrounding how systems should operate, how teachers should teach and how students should learn. It has beckoned a conversation of defining roles and determining how and what data should be measured.
Now is the time. Kentucky has been incentivized to rethink preschool. We have been granted the opportunity to reconsider how we are operating, what we are prioritizing and how we can lean into revolutionary changes. Previous models are no longer serving our future.
But, the most creative solutions develop from people of diverse backgrounds merging together to form unexpected partnerships. The very idea of this concept is a conflict of interest that does not easily mesh. The process requires us to look beyond ourselves and commit to actually improving practices. Enhancing early childhood experiences is how we best counterbalance the worst parts of this world. We, as a community, have to work together to make this longterm investment. The problems we struggle with as adults have solutions rooted in early childhood experiences.
The Preschool Partnership Grant has incentivized opposing sectors to examine strengths and weaknesses and to find a balanced common ground to stand upon. This was created to allow for growth in unexpected spaces. There is a compelling need to push forward. There is a compelling need to work together to turn shortcomings into opportunities for our community. It is that sense of urgency that must motivate us to overcome fear... the fear of change, fear of transparency, fear of vocalizing our areas of weakness. We. Are. Better. Together.
It is time our actions speak louder than our words. Saying the right thing is easy. Being politically correct is expected. But, for our educational system to evolve, we have to leave comfort zones and determine what actions need adjusting to finally match our words. So many of us are passionate about finding solutions and better serving our community. The challenge is to decide to start now, right where you are, and in the midst of the mess. If there is not a clear path to a better way of practicing, you work together to create it.
Competition within education surrounds a scarcity mindset. But, in 2019, we are working within abundance. Both public and private organizations desire to work toward the common goal of providing more students with better opportunities that better meet a specific family's needs. What we have before us is simply an opportunity. This is an avenue to better serve the youngest members of our community. By working together, we are able to leverage one another and advance bigger ideas, bigger missions and more impactful experiences.