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Sustaining Change in Every Classroom

by Sandra Heidemann, Claire Chang, Deb Hewitt, and Beth Menninga
November/December 2007
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/sustaining-change-in-every-classroom/5017840/

It was 2005 and our partnership was at a crossroads. Words Work! and Community Action Head Start had been working together for seven years to provide training, consultation, mentoring, and resources to teachers in pilot classrooms as they learned to implement effective early literacy strategies. Now we wanted to expose all classrooms to this approach so Community Action Head Start (CA Head Start) could continue achieving successful results after foundation investment ended. Demonstration projects, pilot projects, and initiatives often begin with the purpose of demonstrating best practices. To ensure success and research validity, projects execute their approach in a few classrooms within a larger program or an independent entity is established. Regardless of how a project is set up, too often implementation ends when the project and its funding ends. Partner organizations struggle to incorporate the desired components into action, but with diminishing funding, less outside assistance, and other challenges demanding attention, they may implement only small portions of the recommended changes.

As we worked to sustain change in the entire organization, we faced the complexity of this transition. It required involving all levels of the CA Head Start, sustaining resources such as funding, materials, and consultants, and building ...

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