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Early Childhood Dialogue to Action Initiative

The first three years of a child’s life are a time of great opportunity, as well as risk. We can tip the scales in favor of healthy development by providing early experiences and relationships that help babies and toddlers thrive. Our failure to do so can lead to long-lasting harm to our children, communities, and economy.

First-Three-Years-imageIn order to consider ways to ensure a good start for all West Virginia’s children, the Early Childhood Advisory Council of West Virginia joined with the West Virginia Center on Civic Life to sponsor community discussions throughout the state in 2012/2013.

These discussions are bringing together members of local communities in a thoughtful conversation about what can be done. The ideas for action that surface in the community discussion will be brought together in community action planning to follow the forums.

The West Virginia Center for Civic Life and the Early Childhood Council of WV worked together to ensure that community leaders have the materials needed to plan, host, and moderate a community forum:

  • A community discussion guide for participants
  • A conversation starter video for use in your discussions
  • Resource materials for discussion hosts and moderators
  • Post-discussion questionnaire for participants
  • Coaching in convening and moderating is provided as needed.

Here are direct links to several of the stellar resources that were developed.  NCDD highly recommends using these resources as a template for your own community dialogue programs.

  • Community Forum Discussion Guide – This guide should be given to each participant at the forum.
  • Moderator Guide – This guide will walk anyone through the process of moderating and hosting a forum. The guide includes a survey that we ask that all forum participants complete at the close of the forum.
  • Conversation Starter Video – This video was designed to be shown at the beginning of each forum to initiate conversation and provide context for the issues. Feel free to use this link or to contact Gretchen to receive a DVD copy.

You can contact NCDD member Betty Knighton (Knighton@wvciviclife.org) or Gretchen Frankenberry (Gretchen.D.Frankenberry@wv.gov) for more information. Gretchen is the one to contact if you would like hard copies of the discussion guide or moderator’s guide.

Resource Link: http://wvearlylearning.org/resources/early-childhood-dialogue-to-action-initiative/

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