Young Children, Their Families, and Communities

Unit 2 “Young Children, Their Families, and Communities” prepared by Paciorek (2012) addressed the issues connected to the families and communities in which these children live. The authors of articles in the unit invited the reader to reflect on his or her family as well as compare the issues children used to experience in the past with the issues children face today.

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The first article “Why Dads Matter” written by Lois Collins and Marjorie Cortez outlined the issue of children growing up without their father. According to the 2011 Census report cited in the article, one in three American children lives in households without their biological father who positively affects the child’s upbringing. Children that have no time spent with their fathers are more likely to be diagnosed with behavioral or emotional problems. Because of the inequality of the parental time and financial resources in a one and two-parent household, children of a one-parent household tend to do worse in life in terms of financial and academic achievements (Paciorek, 2012, p. 34).

The second article by Paul Gorski “Building a Pedagogy of Engagement for Students in Poverty” is significant because it explained the effects of economic issues present in schools today and outlines effective strategies that can benefit in working with children living in poverty. According to the article, youth that comes from low-income families are proven to learn better when there is an equal academic goal set for all children regardless of their status. The topic of the third article “Why Does Family Wealth Affect Learning” by Daniel Willingham is linked to the previous article. The article described how socioeconomic stress affects families and defined the theory of family investment in the child’s development. Thus, school teachers are rarely trained to handle the issues of societal inequalities in the classroom; the author encouraged the educational system to start a move towards class equity in schools so that academic achievement will not depend on the income of the family a child comes from.

Articles “Increasing Family Engagement in Early Childhood Programs” and “Connecting with Families” both underlined the importance of family participation in the child’s social and academic development. Furthermore, the teacher plays a facilitator’s role in conversations that should appear between parents and schools on the topic of the social and academic well-being of children (Paciorek, 2012, p. 49).

Lastly, articles “Stopping Childhood Obesity Before It Begins” and “The Impact of Teachers and Families on Young Children’s Eating Behaviors” both addressed the importance of developing healthy eating behaviors in children already at the early stages of the development. Healthy habits increase the levels of academic achievement, give children energy as well as increase focus.

Web Resources Summary

The purpose of the Kid-Fit Physical Education Classes for Preschoolers website, http://www.kid-fit.com/, is to raise awareness of issues linked to unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits that may negatively affect children’s well-being (Kid-Fit, n.d., para. 3). The website is useful for finding resources on composing a physical education curriculum as well as nutrition tips beneficial for keeping children healthy and happy.

The Father Involvement Research Alliance http://www.fira.ca/ website is significant for providing information on ideas on research activities as well as strengthening relationships between fathers and their children. The Alliance is responsive to the needs and requirements of concerned fathers as well as communities in general. The primary objective of the website is establishing the research on the issue of father’s involvement as well as engagement in conversation specialists that can identify the importance of father’s involvement in children’s life (FIRA, 2009, para. 9).

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The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) website http://www.nccp.org/ is significant for providing information on research focused on positively influencing the generations of children growing up.

The Center promotes solutions that are based on family orientation at national or state levels. It is stated that children that live in poverty are at risk of mental and health issues that negatively affect their lives. Furthermore, NCCP underlines the fact that emotional and social problems and low academic abilities stem from poverty (NCCP, n.d., para. 6). The center is an advocate for high-quality research the results of which are offered through governmental reports, research reviews, journal articles, and policy briefs.

Zero to Three website http://www.zerotothree.org/ underlines the importance of early experiences in children from the moment they are born. Zero to Three is a non-profit organization that provides parents, teachers, and policymakers with in-depth information and tips on how to treat and nurture children in their early stages of development. The mission that is stated on the website is to make sure that every child receives a strong start to his or her life (Zero to Three, n.d., para. 2). Organizations like Zero to Three are necessary for raising awareness about infant and toddler care and neglect as well as significantly high risks of maltreatment. Furthermore, the organization cooperates with policymakers to discuss the unique needs of early childhood in their early stages of development.

References

FIRA. (2009). FIRA’s Vision, Values and Guiding Principles. Web.

Kid-Fit. (n.d.). Physical Education for Preschoolers. Web.

NCCP. (n.d.). Young Children in Deep Poverty. Web.

Paciorek, K. M. (2012). Annual Editions: Early Childhood Education. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Web.

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Zero to Three. (n.d.). The Latest from Zero to Three. Web.

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