Judy Center Coming To Buckingham

BERLIN – A grant from the Maryland State Department of Education will allow for the expansion of early learning programming at Buckingham Elementary School.

Thanks to a $330,000 grant from the Maryland State Department of Education, a Judy Center Early Learning Hub is being established at Buckingham Elementary School. The Judy Center, like those already established at Snow Hill and Pocomoke elementary schools, will promote school readiness for children under five.

“Last year 66% of kindergarten students entered Buckingham fully ready for school,” Principal Chris Welch said. “It is our hope that with the addition of the Judy Center that all families will have the support and opportunities to ensure school readiness for all children.”

According to the Maryland State Department of Education, Judy Centers, named for Judith P. Hoyer, prepare students for success in school and life. The centers, located within Title I schools, are unique in meeting the needs of their communities. Welch said the Buckingham center would be part of the Worcester County Judy Center Hub, which includes Pocomoke and Snow Hill.  The MSDE grant will provide funding to improve school readiness for students birth to age five.

She said examples of programs would include parent education regarding issues like potty training and dealing with difficult behaviors. The Judy Center will also feature the Frog Street Home Education Program, as a home educator is included in the grant. The program provides kids between six months and four years old with books and curriculum to ensure school readiness.

“Our Frog Street program runs during school hours, September through May,” Worcester County’s Judy Center website reads. “Our Home Educator guides the family through the Frog Street curriculum, materials and works with the parent and child in their home.  Our students are invited to attend exciting evening events, family nights, field trips, and parent workshops.”

Along with a home educator, the grant provides funding for a Buckingham Elementary School site coordinator, who oversees all the programs, and a family service coordinator.

The Judy Center will also assist families with things like vision and dental screenings, and provide support for anything else parents might need to ensure their kids are kindergarten ready.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.