by Nick Randell, Program Officer
I first blogged about PEDALS (Positive Emotional Development and Learning Skills) back in June 2014. For the basics on this program that introduces a social-emotional curriculum in early childhood settings, take a look here: "PEDALS Gears Up for a Second Act". And here is a PEDALS infographic recently prepared by our funding
partner, the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York (HFWCNY). Since that 2014 blog post, there have been some exciting developments. PEDALS has now been introduced to all of Erie County's Head Start providers and is in all or a significant portion of their classrooms. [One of these is now the largest Head Start operator in Niagara County too. We are currently working with four classrooms there, but expect to grow this number.] With the beginning of the school year, and halfway through the second cohort of PEDALS, we'll be working in 37 classrooms.
Back in cohort one (2012-2014) we introduced the program in 49 classrooms. By rough calculation, PEDALS has now reached over 2,700 three and four year-olds across Erie and Niagara Counties. Also, this fall we launched the first few PEDALS classrooms in the Buffalo Public schools. We are looking to start small and build buy-in in the district with an implementation in three pre-K classrooms in one school building.
Perhaps the biggest news is that PEDALS is being replicated in the Syracuse area. Syracuse is an area of regional focus for HFWCNY, and they held program launch events in August for classrooms that began the program this fall. All the centers are located in areas of poverty and PEDALS will make a big splash right out of the gate (mixed metaphor alert). The numbers tell the story: 7 centers, 25 classrooms, 80+ staff, and 600+ children over two years.