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Community Asked To Help Children Thrive by Embracing 'Ossining Basics'

Supervisor Dana Levenberg speaks to kids at an Ossining Basics event.
Supervisor Dana Levenberg speaks to kids at an Ossining Basics event. Photo Credit: Contributed

OSSINING, N.Y. -- Talk, sing, point, count and group. These are the five principles of "Ossining Basics" which are tools young kids need for school readiness, according to the Ossining School District.

The schools launched the campaign Dec. 5 to encourage families and the community to embrace its goals.

“This campaign is about ensuring that through deliberate and intentional interaction with our children, zero to three-years-old, we can all, as a collective group, make sure that everyone is prepared to enter the Ossining School District,” said Carrieann Sipos, the district’s director of elementary teaching and learning.

The event held at Ossining High School library, included stations for kids to illustrate the principles.

At one of these, "Talk, Sing and Point," Superintendent Raymond Sanchez, among administrators sang, “The Wheels on the Bus” and other children's songs.

Kids were asked to point out objects on the table, such as a rubber ducky and a bell. At other stations, they threw balls into a basket, counted and sorted fruits, and read books with their parents.

More than 125 people attended this kickoff, school staff, members of local government, and high school volunteers, among them.

“Ossining Basics” is modeled on the “Boston Basics” initiative, which was launched in 2015 by Ronald Ferguson, faculty director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, said the release.

Reaching children at a very young age is crucial because 80 percent of brain development happens in the first three years of life, according to the Boston campaign. 

Racial, ethnic and socio-economic skill gaps are evident in national data by the time they turn two, said a release.

Ossining school officials decided to bring the initiative to the district after hearing Ferguson speak about it at a workshop, Sanchez said. 

"Ossining has a history of commitment to early childhood education, closing the achievement gap and ensuring excellence for all children. “Ossining Basics” is a commitment to move effective parenting strategies from knowledge to behavior," he said.

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