OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Mobile Early Childhood Education

We strengthen communities through mobile early childhood education by ensuring all stakeholders are invested, supported, and heard.

Photo of Leigh

Written by

Updates: How has your idea changed or evolved throughout the Prize? What updates have you made to this submission? (1500 characters)

Our mentor, Chelsea, gave us a lot of information and resources surrounding non-profit organizations. We are currently looking into those resources and better educating ourselves. We have added more specific details about our workshops that will support families birth to 3. After reviewing our submission we realized we left our important information that outlines the impact on ALL families in the neighborhood.

Name or Organization

Right On Mobile Education

Geography

Denver Metro Area, Colorado

What is your stage of development?

  • New Innovator, with less than one year of experience in ECD

Type

  • Team

What is the stage of your proposal?

  • Full-scale roll-out: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the users I am trying to reach with my idea. I am ready to expand the pilot significantly.

Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (600 characters)

Through research, we have identified neighborhoods in the Denver Metro Area where families have limited access to early childhood programs and support. Hurdles families often face are lack of transportation, existing wait lists, financial hardship, or inaccessibility to resources. The Mobile Learning Lab (a classroom on wheels) will park in a neighborhood 5 days a week to offer preschool and summer programs for an entire year. We will also provide early childhood learning and mentoring workshops that support families with children 0-4 addressing the specific needs of families and communities.

Select an Innovation Target

  • Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries.

Tell us more about your innovation (1500 characters)

Řįģħț Ǿň Mǿbįŀě Ěđųčǻțįǿň ǻįmș țǿ įmpŀěměňț mǿbįŀě ěǻřŀỳ čħįŀđħǿǿđ ěđųčǻțįǿň ǻňđ fǻmįŀỳ ẅǿřķșħǿpș įň ňěįģħbǿřħǿǿđș țǿ ǻđđřěșș țħě ŀǻčķ ǿř įňǻččěșșįbįŀįțỳ țǿ ěǻřŀỳ čħįŀđħǿǿđ přǿģřǻms ǻňđ čǿmmųňįțỳ support įň țħě Đěňvěř Měțřǿ Ǻřěǻ. Our program is designed to offer a preschool and family workshops and summer programs to families with children ages 0-4 for an entire school year. The Mobile Learning Lab offers daily preschool with individual and small group instruction, teacher student ratio 1:4, family partnerships through daily communication and workshops, a safe environment in the community, and a focus on life skills and social emotional development. We address topics based on the needs of families and/or communities. We use the Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines. For example, if a family wants to learn more about how to integrate literacy or how to soothe a crying baby we provide workshops addressing these topics. Our bus has many features: a Smart Board, a digital listening station, 4 adjustable tables, air conditioning and heating, a security system, bathroom, running water, and solar panel/batteries to power all necessary equipment during classes. Finally, we provide mentorship programs for families ages 0-4 in their neighborhood build relationships and confidence in members of the community.

What problem are you aiming to solve? (3 sentences)

Ẅě ǻįm țǿ șǿŀvě țħě přǿbŀěm ǿf: - Ǻččěșșįbįŀįțỳ țǿ Ěǻřŀỳ Čħįŀđħǿǿđ Ěđųčǻțįǿň Đěvěŀǿpměňț - Přǿvįđě pǻřěňțș ẅįțħ įňfǿřmǻțįǿň ǻňđ șķįŀŀș țǿ țěǻčħ țħěįř čħįŀđřěň - Șțřěňģțħěňįňģ čǿmmųňįțįěș bỳ břįňģįňģ fǻmįŀįěș țǿģěțħěř țǿ ěňģǻģě įň ěđųčǻțįǿňǻŀ ǻčțįvįțįěș

Explain your idea (5000 characters)

Right On Mobile Education (ROME) is a non-profit organization that provides educational services and the Mobile Learning Lab is one of the many services under it's umbrella. ROME will offer a Preschool On Wheels in neighborhoods that do not have access to preschool. We will accomplish this by using our fully functional mobile classroom. Each day a staff member will drive the Mobile Learning Lab to the neighborhood we are partnering with. We will provide a half day program that focuses on meeting the Colorado Early Learning and Development Guides through the use of The Creative Curriculum, as well as, lessons developed by our teachers to address gaps we have found in the curriculum. We will remain in the same neighborhood for the entire school year. If there is a need we will provide an additional half day program in the same neighborhood or an additional neighborhood. Students attending ROME will benefit from low teacher student ratios. We will have 3 licensed teachers on the bus and at most 10 students enrolled. We have developed lesson plans in the area of Social Emotional and Character Development (SECD): Our SECD programming provides instruction in self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. ROME has developed its own SECD curriculum inspired by the work of Michele Borba and her book Building Moral Intelligence. We have specific lessons that provide instruction for the following virtues: empathy, conscience, self-control, respect, kindness, tolerance, and fairness. Our staff has researched the concept of Project Based Learning. PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. ROME has examined the themes in our preschool curriculum Creative Curriculum to infuse Project Based Learning into our lessons. We will provide high quality workshops for families with children aged 0-4. Our mentorship programs will derive from our family workshop topics. We will come together with the parents and offer workshops on a topic that supports 0-4 years of age. During these meetings parents will be given an opportunity to listen to the speaker, engage in an activity that pertains to the topic presented and then given an opportunity to practice the strategies/tools given and then asked to participate in a survey of how the particular topic helped them. This will also be the time where mentorships are formed. They will have the opportunity to sign up for 1:1 support for parents in their home or for small groups that will come together to help one another through the challenges parents might be facing. These mentorships can be designed from a one-time occurrence to a more continual support depending on the need of the parents and family. Our preschool program will be funded through several different avenues allowing families to attend our program regardless of their financial situation. Through this unique model we will have the opportunity to reach and impact families before their child enters kindergarten. We will be able to prepare students with the skills necessary to navigate future schooling.

Who benefits? (1500 characters)

The following groups will benefit from our idea: families with children ages 0-4, the community, and schools based within neighborhood boundaries. The children will benefit because we will provide high quality instruction with licensed teachers. They will have access to experiences and learning to better improve their transition to kindergarten and build confidence to prepare them for their educational journey. The family members will also be benefit as we provide frequent workshops for them to attend. These workshops will increase parent's early childhood developmental skills and help them prepare their children for success in the educational environment. If there are resources families are in need of we will help them navigate the systems within their community to make sure their needs are met. The community and local schools benefit as well because the families and students will be more prepared and engaged for their educational success.

What kind of impact will your idea have? (1500 characters)

Our idea will impact the following stakeholders: - Low income families and communities in the Denver Metro area that may not have access to early childhood education - Families with children ages 0-3 through our workshops and mentorship programs - Communities by bringing them together with a shared vision for their children and families - Schools by bringing better prepared students and more engaged students to the school system

How does or how could your idea impact low-income children? (1500 characters)

Our model will function predominantly in low-income neighborhoods. Through research and collaboration with local agencies (mayors and city planners) we have pinpointed neighborhoods with the greatest need for resources and access to early childhood services and preschool. Some ways we will accomplish this is by: -offering preschool in a mobile bus -providing workshops/mentoring for families with children 0-4 -connecting families within the neighborhood by creating relationships -printing off applications for families -helping families fill out applications for tuition assistance (CCAP, CPP, etc). -translating information if necessary -the same families we mentored birth to 3 will then transition into our preschool program on the mobile learning lab By providing this Mobile Learning Lab and Workshops in low-income communities the long -term advantages would be the following: Increase in school success Increase in social/emotional skills Increase in parental understanding of school systems and resources Increase in parental involvement Increase in community relationships All of which would impact the strength and development of a community.

Innovation: What makes your concept innovative? (5000 characters)

Ẅě ǻřě įňňǿvǻțįvě běčǻųșě ẅě břįňģ ěđųčǻțįǿň țǿ ǻřěǻș ǿf ňěěđ. Ẅě měěț fǻmįŀįěș įň țħěįř ňěįģħbǿřħǿǿđș ǻňđ ħǿměș țǿ čřěǻțě șțřǿňģěř řěŀǻțįǿňșħįpș țħřǿųģħ mǿbįŀě ěđųčǻțįǿň. Ẅě čřěǻțě ǻňđ čǻțěř přǿģřǻmș țǿ meet the ňěěđș ǿf fǻmįŀįěș įň țħě čǿmmųňįțįěș. Ǿųř ǿųțřěǻčħ ǻŀŀǿẅș ųș țħě ǻbįŀįțỳ țǿ čǿňňěčț țǿ fǻmįŀįěș įň țħěįř ěňvįřǿňměňț ǻňđ ěňčǿųřǻģě đěvěŀǿpměňț ǿf řěŀǻțįǿňșħįpș ẅįțħįň čǿmmųňįțįěș. Here are some of the events that we have participated in over the past year and a half to gain visibility and build relationships with communities. The mobile learning lab advantage of being mobile and traveling allows us to travel to different locations, therefore, connecting with a number of different communities.   Examples of programs we have been able to do: A) Raise the Reader events with different libraries across several counties o Amelia Earhart Aviation event Golden Library o Halloween Event Littleton Library o Erie Library Event B) Farmer’s Markets o Erie’s Farmers Market -offering an educational stop for families to join us on the bus and engage in hands on learning activities.  C) Private Tutoring in neighborhoods D) School Events o Mikeljohn elementary school festival Ǿųř ħǿpě įș țħǻț bỳ șțřěňģțħěňįňģ čǿmmųňįțįěș țħřǿųģħ ěđųčǻțįǿň țħěỳ șěě țħě běňěfįț ǿf șųșțǻįňįňģ șțřǿňģ řěŀǻțįǿňșħįpș ẅħįčħ ŀěǻđ țǿ ŀǿňģ țěřm ěđųčǻțįǿňǻŀ șųččěșș.

Scale: Describe how your idea could reach a significant number of end-users. (1500 characters)

Currently we have one Mobile Learning Lab that can serve 8-24 children per day and their families. In 3 years, we aim to have 3 additional buses (for a total of 4 buses) that will reach an additional 72 children and their families, serving a total of 96. Our workshop and mentorship programs will bring in an additional number of parents and families increasing our end users numbers beyond preschool children to a estimated total 288-300. As we increase the number of buses and workshops we can increase our reach exponentially. For each additional year after, we will add one bus. We plan to sustain our buses through State funding and grants, foundation contributions, corporate contributions, and fundraising events.We have partnered with the Mayor of a suburb of Denver.  He has offered the Community Meeting Space in his building for parenting workshops.  The plan is that we will conduct some of the parenting workshops on the bus to allow families the opportunity to see their child's unique classroom space.  The Community Meeting Space will allow us to have a space that would accommodate a large portion of the families living within our targeted neighborhoods.  We also have access to a large gathering space on site in a building next to where we will park the bus. These gathering space will provide an additional area for larger projects and event.

Feasibility: Where are you with understanding the feasibility of your idea? Describe what you’ve done so far and your plans. (3000 characters)

We have spent the past year and a half researching, creating, and piloting our program. Below is an outline of the steps we have taken. -retrofitted an airport shuttle bus into a fully functional preschool classroom -purchased The Creative Curriculum -hired teachers licensed in the State of Colorado with Master's degrees -researched necessary state regulations for opening a preschool in the State of Colorado -applied for a childcare license in the State of Colorado -met with zoning departments in several cities -got clearance from the fire department -met with local city planners and surrounding city mayor to discuss idea -networked with local organizations to receive funding for preschool tuition -analyzed The Creative Curriculum for gaps/holes and created supplemental lesson plans to meet Colorado State Standards -Applied for non-profit status -we continue to research funding opportunities -piloted a 7 week summer program in a local neighborhood Throughout the past year and a half we have reached over 550 children. We have networked and built relationships with approximately 30 many partners ranging from libraries, schools, community centers, and neighborhoods. We have also developed great relationships with local colleges and universities as well so that as we grow we will have the ability to recruit teachers from this educational centers to keep our growth sustainable and student/teacher ratios low. We have funded $80,000 for the Mobile Learning Lab from profits made from our other programs along with receiving approximately 40,000-50,000 for private donors. We have many funding opportunities pending our 501c3 approval. Our next steps include 1. Pending Nonprofit status 2. Pending Health Department inspection 3. Begin our preschool program

Business Viability: How viable is your business model? (5000 characters)

We believe our concept is a viable business model because of the growing need for early childhood development programs to tackle the Colorado's growing population, areas of need, success of our pilot program, interest and funding offers we have received from local municipalities as well as corporate donors and private contributions.

HCD: How have you used human centered design to build or refine your concept? (5000 characters)

In the summer of 2017, we partnered with a local Title I school that some of our staff had worked in previously. We were able to meet with the principal and assistant principal and discuss the opportunity of working together. Based on this conversation, the school identified several families in a particular area that thought that this program could benefit. Our Pilot Preschool program was setup for 4 days a week/2.5 hours a day / 7 weeks long. A total of 8 families were able to participate. 7of the 8 children had no prior preschool early childhood experience. We conducted a pre-assessment that would guide us through the next 7 wks. Weekly we gathered observations and monitored the progress of each child of their strengths and challenges linked to the learning objectives that were set. After the 7 weeks were over we were able to sit down with the Principal and the staff regarding the information we had gathered that could help them with making decisions for the children moving forward. They were also able to offer us some suggestions that would further help us in with our evaluation of the program. This pilot program led us to reflect on the following: 1) Our Evaluation In order to assess whether or not the innovation is achieving its intended outcomes, we will use formal and informal assessments with students and families, by using Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment, surveys from the families, collaboration with schools to monitor our students progress as they enter elementary school and beyond. We will also track family attendance and participation in our family workshops to determine the effectiveness of our programming. Finally, feedback from families will be collected and evaluated and used to make changes to the programs. 2) The Impact on the Community This pilot led us to families with kids younger than 4 asking us for support. For example; A parent came to us with a 3 year old wanting her son to participate on the bus and to help her with ideas for his behaviors that were causing her some frustration. We were able to offer her some support throughout the program we were offering for those weeks. Therefore, leading us to believe that in order for our preschool program to get the best results possible from the children. A huge component to our success will be to engage all families within the community with children 0-3 to actively participate in our workshops and mentorship programs.

Tell us more about you (3000 characters)

After many years of teaching in the public schools, we recognized a need to extend our passion for education for children and their families into their communities. With this passion Right On Mobile Education (ROME) was developed. What excites us is the opportunity to work side by side with children and parents daily. Developing children who are caring, compassionate and driven by their passions. Ẅě ħǻvě běěň įň țħě ěđųčǻțįǿň fįěŀđ fǿř ǿvěř 20+ ỳěǻřș ǻňđ čǿňțįňųě țǿ đěșįřě țǿ mǻķě ǻ bįģģěř įmpǻčț ǿň čħįŀđřěň. Ỳěǻř ǻfțěř ỳěǻř ẅě fįňđ ǿųřșěŀvěș đřįvěň țǿ đįģ đěěpěř įňțǿ fįňđįňģ řěșǿŀųțįǿňș fǿř țħě ŀǻčķ ǿf řěșǿųřčěș įň ŀǿẅ-įňčǿmě čǿmmųňįțįěș fǿř ěǻřŀỳ ěđųčǻțįǿň đěvěŀǿpměňț.

Do you have the people and partners you need to do what you’ve described? (600 characters)

Our team was created to ensure we have the perspectives of many different people. Our team and board members include individuals from the business world, college professors, early childhood educators, curriculum specialists, and teachers with extensive training in social emotional development. Ẅě ħǻvě țħě șųppǿřț ǿf čǿmmųňįțįěș, fǻmįŀįěș, ŀǿčǻŀ čįțỳ pŀǻňňěřș, mǻỳǿř ǻňđ mǻňỳ přǿfěșșįǿňǻŀș ǻňđ fřįěňđș țħǻț ǻřě ěxčįțěđ fǿř ųș țǿ ģěț ųp ǻňđ řųňňįňģ. Ẅě ǻřě ǻŀẅǻỳș ŀǿǿķįňģ fǿř pǻřțňěřș țħǻț čǻň ǿffěř ěxpěřțįșě įň ħǿẅ țǿ bě ǻ ģřěǻț ňǿň-přǿfįț čǿmpǻňỳ.

As you consider your next steps, what kinds of help could you use? Is there a type of expertise that would be most helpful? (1800 characters)

As we move forward we know that we would benefit from partnering with individuals with more experience in Non-profit operations and maintenance. We could also use support in grant writing.

Would you like mentoring support?

  • Yes

If so, what type of mentoring support do you think you need? (1200 characters)

We would benefit from support in Non-profit operation and maintenance and grant writing.

Are you willing to share your email contact information submitted on OpenIDEO with Gary Community Investments?

  • Yes, share my contact information

Mentorship: How was your idea supported? (5000 characters)

Ỳěș, ẅě ẅěřě mǻțčħěđ ẅįțħ ǻ věřỳ ķňǿẅŀěđģěǻbŀě měňțǿř ẅħǿ ẅǻș ǻbŀě țǿ ģįvě ųș țįpș țǿ čǿňșįđěř ǻňđ ẅǻș ẅįŀŀįňģ țǿ ħǻvě čǿňvěřșǻțįǿň ẅħěň ẅě ẅěřě řěǻđỳ. Ẅě đįđ ňǿț ňěěđ țǿ čħǻňģě ǿųř čǿňčěpț bųț ẅě đįđ mǻķě čħǻňģěș țǿ țħě ẅǻỳ ẅě ǻđđřěșșěđ șǿmě ǿf țħě qųěșțįǿňș.

Geography

Denver, Colorado

What is your stage of development?

  • New Innovator, with less than one year of experience in ECD

10 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Purva
Team

Hi Leigh,
You may already know this but in the SF Bay Area, Aspire school has implemented this approach. Here is a local news article on them : http://www.sfchronicle.com/education/article/Oakland-preschool-on-wheels-seeks-to-bridge-6660902.php
Hope you find this useful!
Purva

Photo of Leigh
Team

Hi Purva,

Thanks for reaching out and sending us this article! It was great to read it and to learn about another organization that is implementing mobile learning!

Thanks again,

Leigh

Photo of Deborah Castillero
Team

Hi Purva. We have a mobile app called Care Bears & Amigos that helps early learners learn important preschool and K skills in two languages. We'd love to make our resource available to you. Learn more about us at bilingualchildren.co and tipitom.com and feel free to connect with me directly at deborah@tipitom.com. Thanks. Deborah

View all comments