Circles USA is excited to announce the kickoff of the Children’s Curriculum Pilot on July 13th with 6 different chapters across the United States and Canada. The pilot includes the first 3 months of our newly developed Children’s curriculum that will be introduced to the Circles network at the National Leadership Conference next April in Kansas City.
Children’s educators and administrators, local Circles staff, and Chief Learning Officer, Carson Roncketto, are carefully designing this curriculum to allow easy adaptability at local chapters and sites. In January of 2016, the piloted curriculum will be released to the network, with the remaining 15 months to be released at the April conference.
The curriculum being piloted specifically includes material around themes that the children’s parents will explore during Circle Leader Training, including: activities and lessons around Building Relationships, Respect and Service, and Financial Literacy. Accompanying the lesson plans are guides to be used in the initial planning of the children’s programming: Understanding the Framework, Best Practices for Implementation, and Behavioral Guidelines.
Circles USA continues its expansion into states and communities at an impressive pace. The Circles model promotes a grassroots approach of equipping families living in poverty with the necessary skills to thrive and achieve success in terms of financial stability and meaningful family and community relationships.
Research suggests that children living in low-income home environments have little or no exposure to meaningful learning materials, which translates to an achievement gap between low-income and middle class students at school. The involvement of families in the Circles model creates an ideal opportunity to compensate for these missing educational opportunities.
The mission of Circles is to partner with families to end poverty in their lives and empower them to make positive changes to end poverty in their communities. Research shows that investing in an impoverished child’s future is an effective strategy to break the unrelenting cycle of generational poverty. Providing specific, strategic teaching to the children at Circles not only fights poverty at a personal level, but also prevents it at a community level.
It makes sense to give Circles children the same opportunities their parents receive through Circles: to reflect on their past, find healthy ways to manage their present circumstances, and set goals so they can make positive choices in the future.