Early Childhood Literacy Intervention Program, Services, and Evaluation
ECLIPSE is an AmeriCorps program that focus' on early childhood literacy in Eau Claire and Altoona. Educational focus areas include language, emergent reading & writing, socialization and interaction. ECLIPSE differentiates from other literacy programs because we work from a one-on-one model tailored to individual needs in preparing each child for lifelong learning. This program identifies and embraces the different paces at which children learn to foster continual growth in education.
At the present time, ECLIPSE has five sites in and around Eau Claire that are served by the program.
ECLIPSE works as tribes (teams) of students from UW – Eau Claire who are AmeriCorps members. There are sessions twice a week, for approximately two hours each time. In these sessions, members focus on building language and literacy skills as well as working on social and interaction skills with other children or adults. These same corps members also serve in the centers classrooms between three and six hours per week, helping the classroom teachers in different ways, possibly reading books or assisting with an activity or a project. This improves the teacher to child ratio in the classrooms so children can have the opportunity for more individualized attention.
Each session consists of the following elements:
Sign in- where children write their names
Group time- a social time and activity that uses listening and language skills, and takiturns
One to one Reading time - Children choose books to read with their partner. During this time, children learn more about how books work and how to respect books. Corps members are trained in dialogic reading methods to encourage the children to have a conversation about the book as appropriate. Many times children will want to "read" the book to the corps member.
Choice Time - Children choose activities that they in which they participate. Children have the option of using the regular areas of the classroom that have been added to by the Corps members following session plans that have been developed to focus on an area of language, literacy or social interaction skills. Members look at individual needs of the children at each site as they develop session plans in the second half of the year, after they have had the opportunity to get to know the children.
End group time/recall – After clean up there is a final group time where children share something they did during session. This is an opportunity to have closure to the session. One book, Wave Goodbye by Rob Reid is read at the very end.
COMMITMENT FOR MEMBERS
ECLIPSE members are AmeriCorps members who serve for the academic school year according to the UW- Eau Claire calendar. Members are all levels of students from first year to graduate students, with most being first through third year students, in many different majors. This is excellent experience for anyone who plans to work with or interact with children in their future.
There is a 300 hour commitment requirement. This is broken down into approximately 12 hours per week. The beginning of the year is much less, with starting at approximately 5 – 6 hours per week in training, then building to 12 hours per week when classroom assistance time starts approximately two weeks after training begins.
The hours are broken down as follows:
2 hours twice a week for sessions = 4 hours – according to schedule – Same all year
1 hour twice a week tribe meetings = 2 hours – time set by team – may change at semester
Classroom Assistance Time = 5-6 hours – flexible to center hours – will change at semester when your classes change
Service (20-30 hours) gathered throughout the year and three required events, Dr. Seuss' Birthday Party, Global Youth Service Day, Literacy Festival.
There are four Saturdays during the year that are required (2 training, 2 service).
Members work on teams of approximately 10 students, at one of five sites in the Eau Claire area.
There is a one credit class each semester, the fall is training at the beginning and one or two other meetings, the spring semester is a regular weekly class.
If you have federal work-study, you can earn it while you work. You need about $2,000 for the year.
If not, students can volunteer for the experience.
Upon successful completion of the program and at least 300 hours, there is an AmeriCorps Education award of $1,132 that can be used for education.