Head Start educators implement the Project Approach to encourage learning and imagination

At the annual Celebration of Young Investigators in May, MARC’s Head Start program recognized 12 teaching teams and home visitors and their coaches for their successful implementation of the Project Approach to learning.

This approach starts with a “project,” which is a real-world topic or location familiar to children such as the doctor’s office, pets or traffic signs.  During project work, educators help children act as researchers who pose questions, investigate, interview experts and represent their findings. The main goal of the Project Approach is to develop intellectual curiosity and analytical abilities in young children.

During the event, teams presented their projects and shared project stories using documentation panels.   

The celebration also featured a presentation by Dr. Karrie Snider, an assistant professor of early childhood education at the University of Central Missouri, who discussed the research she has conducted in Head Start classrooms. Dr. Snider found that implementation of the Project Approach resulted in enhanced teacher-child interactions and child outcomes.  

This year’s projects include:

  • Babies Project, Independence School District
    • Teachers: Krista Droke and Cathy Kneece
    • Coach: Elizabeth Crowe
  • Building Houses Project, YMCA Northland
    • Teacher: Maria Dierenfeldt
    • Coach: Anita Gomes-Stewart
  • Fish Project, Lee’s Summit School District Home-Based
    • Parent Educator: Hannah Vanderpool
    • Parent: Andrea Adamski
    • Coach: Lacy Butler
  • Dogs Project, Kansas City Public Schools
    • Teachers: Lynndrell Williams and LaDonna Johnson
    • Coach: Mary Svoboda-Chollet
  • Trucks Project, St. Mark Center
    • Teachers: Monchell Mitchell, Beverly Thomas and Ivera Williams
    • Coach: Merrill Hunt
  • Babies Project, YMCA Thomas/Roque
    • Teacher: Shakia Boyd
    • Coach: Melissa Shelton
  • Tools Project, Kansas City Public Schools
    • Teachers: Carrie Stribling and Jewel Smith
    • Coach: Stacia Privett-Martin
  • Fish Project, St. Mark Center
    • Teachers: Kellie Beverly, Ashley Jones, and Shay Harris
    • Coach: Merrill Hunt
  • Bones Project, Guadalupe Centers Early Childhood Center
    • Teachers: Claudia Davis and Tseyon Mamo
    • Coach: Ann Camey
  • Eggs Project, Independence School District
    • Teachers: Sarah Evason and Christina Ferguson
    • Coach: Phong Nguyen
  • Plants Project, Independence School District
    • Teachers: Ashlie Love and Amanda Sisson
    • Coach: Julie Peacock
  • Dogs Project, YMCA Thomas/Roque
    • Teacher: Christiana McCully
    • Coach: Lisa Matthews

To learn more about the Project Approach and the value it provides to early childhood education centers, please contact Carol Bolz at 816-701-8350.