Instructional Support for MS Head Start Program

Instructional Support for MS Head Start Program

August 25, 2014

Head Start Program in Mississippi Offers Teachers Instructional Support
Generation Ready to Provide On-Site Professional Development to Eight Head Start Centers

JACKSON, MISS – In an effort to improve instructional scores within its Head Start programs, the Gulf Coast Community Action Agency hired national professional development provider Generation Ready to deliver training and instructional support to teachers.

This fall, Generation Ready, a leading provider of leader and teacher professional learning services, will begin working with teachers at eight Mississippi Head Start centers serving more than 1,400 children.

Dr. Barbara Coatney, executive director of the Gulf Coast Community Action Agency, said her eight centers received composite instructional scores totaling 2.7. The lowest score is a 2.5 for Head Start centers.

“Instead of waiting until I’m caught in that lower 10th percentile, I decided to get our teachers some additional help to make sure they are ready,” said Dr. Coatney. “In order for the poorest children in America to make it, they need a strong foundation. That is why I want them to really learn before they leave our Head Start program.”

John Buchanan, Generation Ready’s general manager for the South Region, praised the agency for taking concrete steps to improve instruction.

“This is the first time to my knowledge that a Head Start program took the initiative to train its teachers in order to better provide the instructional foundation that will prepare students for success throughout their school careers,” said Buchanan.

Generation Ready’s education consultants will provide 47 days of on-site support and one-on-one consultation with an emphasis on literacy. Workshops and classroom-embedded professional development will focus on the following services:

  • Beginning and growing the skills needed for continuous improvement of reading fluency and deep reading comprehension
  • Planning literacy instruction
  • Transitioning to more rigorous kindergarten standards
  • Ongoing progress monitoring

Because of the wide range of teaching experience within her staff, Dr. Coatney said she wanted to ensure they all had access to teaching strategies that can be used in the classroom.

“I liked the embedded-in-the-classroom training, the ‘show me rather than tell me,’” said Dr. Coatney. “And that’s what Generation Ready provides. They look at the curriculum and offer my teachers the skills to become better.”

A large-group training begins for teachers on August 26 in Gulfport, Mississippi, with center visits immediately following through September and October.

About Generation Ready

Generation Ready is the leading provider of leader and teacher professional learning services that uniquely combines deep instructional job-embedded expertise, innovative technology tools, and a targeted digital content library that ensures sustained professional growth and improved student learning. For the past 20 years, our primary focus has been improving instructional practice in the classroom. Our professional learning services are experienced, evidence-based, collaborative and customized. Created through acquisition by Weld North Holdings LLC in September of 2012, Generation Ready combines the deep expertise and resources of two long-renowned education organizations – Editure/AUSSIE Professional Development and JBHM Education Group. Our mission is to support teachers and school leaders in order to educate a stronger, more vibrant generation of students prepared to meet life’s challenges. For more information, visit

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Media Contacts:

Celina Fabrizio
p) 614-244-8114 ext 242

Becky Mazzanobile
p) 917-501-6805