Education in the formative years of a child’s life acts as the foundation for academic success in their later years. Prime Time, a component of the Wright Stuff Community Foundation in Norwood, is an early childhood education center designed to serve children and families with a variety of needs and abilities. The program offers summer camps, afterschool programs and daycare for children six months to 12 years old.
Currently, Prime Time has 291 students enrolled, a 200 percent increase from 2007. The program takes a cutting-edge approach to early childhood education, placing an emphasis on social and emotional competency to better prepare students for the classroom environment. The curriculum is fine-tuned to the needs of the children at each developmental level and the program ensures each child’s physical and psychological needs are met.
In the infant and toddler classrooms, the focus is on building nurturing and responsive relationships among children, caregivers, parents and the community. At the school-age level, the High Scope Curriculum is implemented, which puts a strong emphasis on play. This provides the students an opportunity to interact and explore, to learn through experience.
Through role-play, interactive games, and experiences, students are able to learn negotiation and problem-solving skills, how to develop relationships and appropriately express emotions. The Colorado Center for Social Emotional Competence and Inclusion has developed what is known as the “Pyramid Plus” model, which provides a tiered intervention framework for promoting the social, emotional and behavioral development of young children. The framework has been implemented at Prime Time and has become one of four training sites for the curriculum in the state of Colorado.
The $10,000 grant given by El Pomar was used for general operating funds, and enabled Prime Time to continue to grow and explore innovative educational programs to better serve the needs of the families enrolled. The comprehensive curriculum, along with the willingness to work with the individual needs of the students and families, makes Prime Time a remarkable organization that has an unprecedented impact on Norwood and West Montrose County in its entirety.