The Bee Smart Program
Bee Smart is a Delaware-based program engaging and educating parents and caregivers on birth to three development through experiential learning, empowering them to be their baby’s first and most important teachers.
Public Education Failure, particularly in impoverished areas: A recent education assessment showed that 17 Delaware grammar and middle schools had less than 10% of their students score as grade-level proficient. Two City of Wilmington elementary schools that operate in the Bee Smart target geography had less than 7% proficiency.
Scarcity of Parent Education programs for at-risk families, particularly those without a diagnosis of developmental delay: The vast majority of childcare centers do not accept infants, often not enrolling children until age 2.
How We Do It
The Bee Smart program, a GIFT CONNECT proprietary curriculum, is broken down into six one-hour sessions. Sessions start with a light dinner, followed by bee-themed cartoon videos starring Buzz the Bee and Queen Eliza-bee.
The first two sessions focus on brain and language development, with simple ways to use everyday items and activities to introduce new words and concepts. The second two sessions focus on the power of music in brain development, with a professional musician helping parents or grandparents write a lullaby or short song for their baby.
The final two sessions introduce concrete ways to make learning fun for baby using books, balls, safe toys, and small musical instruments, all of which parents or caregivers can take home to use.
Paul Dinello is an American comedian, actor, and writer, best known for his collaborations with Stephen Colbert and Amy Sedaris. Dinello is the creator of the Bee Smart videos. Dinello is a 7-time Emmy Award recipient for writing and producing for The Colbert Report and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Tarama Turski, Ph.D.
Tamara Turski, is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Delaware. She contributed to the development of lesson plans and assisted in training the trainers. She is a National Science Foundation Fellow. Her work, Relational Uncertainty: Does parental perception of adopted children’s academic success change over time?
Laura Shelton is a successful entrepreneur, artist, abstract painter, and teacher. Laura has founded and operated several companies in a diverse career spanning over four decades. Having raised three children as well as being highly involved in her grandchildren’s lives and teaching art to young children. Laura has developed a true passion for the development of children as she understands how crucial it is for physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development from birth to three years of age.
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