OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (April 29, 2020) — In its role as Oklahoma’s Early Childhood State Advisory Council, the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness (OPSR) Board established the Pyramid Model State Leadership Team (PMSLT) on April 16, 2020. This important action was taken in response to the high number of children in Oklahoma who experience adversity during their early years as well as a need to improve coordination across early childhood programs. Unaddressed, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can result in delayed development, challenging behaviors and expulsions from early care and education programs, as well as long term negative health and social outcomes.
Under the coordination of OPSR, Oklahoma joins 31 other states that have developed PMSLTs toguide the implementation of the Pyramid Model for Promoting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children. This model promotes the skills necessary for young children, birth to five, to understand and manage their emotions. In addition, it addresses disparities in discipline practices; promotes family engagement; and fosters inclusion of children with, and at risk for, developmental delays and disabilities.
“During this difficult time, when resilience is being tested by COVID-19, OPSR is proud to support statewide coordination of evidence-based practices to support the emotional development of young children,” said Annette Wisk Jacobi, OPSR Board chair and Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth director. “The Pyramid Model will help equip the early childhood workforce with the capacity to support healthy relationships as they navigate new challenges.”
The Pyramid Model State leadership Team will enhance existing collaborations to resolve state-level barriers, create professional development opportunities and facilitate best practices at the local level. Members of the team will be represented by parents, state-level early childhood and education program leaders and private funders like Potts Family Foundation.
“We are excited to work with OPSR on this project. Implementing this model will help ensure that our youngest children have the tools needed for healthy social and emotional development. This work aligns perfectly with our mission to invest in and leverage people and resources in support of early childhood, ” said Pat Potts, Co-Founder, Potts Family Foundation.
In 2003, House Bill 1094 created the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness and added Oklahoma to a growing list of states that recognized more action is required to successfully support families and children from birth to preschool — thus improving school readiness. Together, through both public and private partnerships, they work to help children arrive at school with the knowledge, skills and physical and emotional health to achieve their dreams. Today, their mission is to lead Oklahoma in coordinating an early childhood system that strengthens families and ensures all children are ready for school. For more information, visithttps://www.okschoolreadiness.org.
A family foundation, Potts is organized as a private foundation with a majority of community leaders serving on its board. Potts provides support for sustainable early childhood initiatives and nonprofit capacity building. In addition, Potts addresses the root causes of early childhood neglect (emotional, physical, and mental) by supporting proven solutions through early childhood initiatives (ages 0-5) as well as builds non-profit capacity through the management and leadership development of Oklahoma nonprofits by the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits.For more information about Potts Family Foundation, visit http://pottsfamilyfoundation.org/.
The Pyramid Model was developed by two national, federally-funded research and training centers: The Center for the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) and Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Youth Children (TACSEI). This model can be used by early childhood special education personnel, early intervention personnel, early childhood educators, families and other professionals to ensure that young children have healthy social and emotional development, meaning that they have the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions. The Pyramid Model builds upon a tiered public health approach to providing universal supports to all children to promote wellness, targeted services to those who need more support, and intensive services to those who need them. Tiers of the model include: Effective Workforce, Nurturing and Responsive Relationships, High Quality Supportive Environments, Targeted Social Emotional Supports and Individualized Intensive Interventions.
Based in Fort Collins, Co., the Pyramid Model Consortium exists to promote the dissemination, sustainability, scale-up and high fidelity use of the Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children. This consortium provides training and technical assistance to states, communities and programs by combining their expertise and utilizing a process rooted in implementation science and evidence-based practices to help infants and young children develop. For more information, visit https://www.pyramidmodel.org.
Katie Parker, Community Relations Specialist, Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness
Linda Manaugh, Communications & Program Support Director, Potts Family Foundation