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SOURCE Music Together LLC
Early childhood music education program is key component of Bridgeport, CT initiative used as model for legislation
PRINCETON, N.J., April 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/-- Music Together LLC, the award-winning pioneer of research-based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music education, applauds US Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) for introducing the Total Learning Act bill (HR3983) and will work to gain support to push for its swift passage. This week, an online petition has gone live to gain public support across the country (http://www.change.org/petitions/u-s-house-of-representatives-please-support-h-r-3983).
Music Together parent-child and preschool classes are a key component of the Total Learning Initiative, which was first implemented in Bridgeport, CT, in 2008. Designed by the nonprofit anti-poverty agency Action for Bridgeport Community Development Inc. (ABCD), the Total Learning Initiative is a comprehensive educational approach to school change that aims to reduce the achievement gap between poor and upper-income children. The program surrounds at-risk children with support of all of the systems that impact learning by providing high-quality educational programming to disadvantaged families beginning at birth. It has been so effective in Bridgeport that Congressman Himes has proposed the Total Learning Act bill so the program can be replicated in low-income communities around the country.
Music Together Founder/Director Kenneth K. Guilmartin says, "We were proud to be part of the Total Learning Initiative in Bridgeport and are so appreciative that Congressman Himes has introduced this bill to extend the program beyond Connecticut. We will work to help get this moving around the country in every way that we can."
An online petition was launched this week to support this bill. http://www.change.org/petitions/u-s-house-of-representatives-please-support-h-r-3983.
Charles B. Tisdale, Executive Director, ABCD, Inc., says, "Music Together is a key part of our work in Bridgeport. The program was selected for its solid curriculum and proven track record for supporting children's learning while strengthening the parent-child bond through music. It is a wonderful vehicle for parent development and education. We at ABCD are pleased with the introduction of this bill and extremely grateful for the efforts of Congressman Himes in seeking its enactment. Total Learning has proven to be a remarkable success in reducing the achievement gap in Bridgeport schools and promises to be equally successful in school systems though out the United States."
As part of the Total Learning Initiative in Bridgeport, parents and their children (ages birth through five) attend weekly Music Together parent-child classes. Throughout the sessions, participants receive ongoing parent education and coaching. Preschool classrooms in the Bridgeport public school system taking part in the Total Learning Initiative utilize the Music Together in-school curriculum, which includes weekly classes, ongoing professional development, and opportunities for family involvement. Families in either program also receive materials for music play at home, including CDs, music books, and age-appropriate instruments.
According to a press release issued by Congressman Himes' office, as proposed, the Total Learning Act will provide assistance to community partnerships focused on implementing advanced early education curricula, modeled after the Total Learning program. A second bill, the Supporting Early Learning Act, will establish two competitive grant programs to help states implement or improve early learning systems, particularly for children in low-income areas.
"Early childhood education is one of the smartest investments we can make. It leads to better academic, professional, and social outcomes for children while also improving our workforce and our communities," said Himes. "Connecticut has made strides in expanding access to early education for our children, but much of the rest of the nation lags behind. These two bills build on the early education success we've seen in Southwest Connecticut and would complement the important work the President has done to advance early education and ensure that all of our children have the leg-up they need to succeed in school and contribute to our economy."
About Music Together®: Music Together is an internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program for children birth through grade two. The Music Together curriculum, coauthored in 1987 by Founder/Director Kenneth K. Guilmartin and Rowan University Professor of Music Education Dr. Lili M. Levinowitz (Director of Research), is based on the recognition that all children are musical: all children can learn to sing in tune, move with accurate rhythm, and participate with confidence in the music of their culture, provided that their early environment supports such learning. Music Together offers programs for families, schools, at-risk populations, and children with special needs in over 2500 communities in 40 countries. The company is passionately committed to bringing children and their caregivers closer through shared music-making and helping people discover the joy and educational value of early music experiences. More at www.MusicTogether.com and www.facebook.com/MusicTogether.
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