The University of Louisville has received a first-of-its-kind federal grant to find out if young children would retain behavior coaching for the rest of their school careers.
The University of Louisville has received a first-of-its-kind federal grant to find out if young children would retain behavior coaching for the rest of their school careers.

Four-year-old Jas’meir English can act up from time to time and she’s capable of disrupting a classroom.

But what if we paired young students, like Jas’meir, with behavior coaches? Would they learn proper behavior in the classroom and retain it for the rest of their school careers. The University of Louisville has received a first-of-its-kind federal grant to find out.

“The purpose of it is to understand whether or not the First Step Next early intervention is effective for young kids at risk for academic failure due to behavioral, social or emotional concerns” said Andy Frey, a researcher in the Kent School of Social Work and principal investigator on the grant.

Forty 4-year-olds in Jefferson County Public Schools’ early childhood program are part of the study. Jas’meir’s behavior coach is Blake Skidmore who says “we really focus on using positive reinforcement to teach kids what we want to see them doing versus what we tend to slip into which is negative attention when they’re misbehaving.”

See more in the video below: 

 

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Mark Hebert
Following a 28-year career as a radio and television reporter, Mark Hebert joined the University of Louisville as the Director of Media Relations in 2009, serving as the main spokesperson. In 2015, Mark was named Director of Programming and Production. He’s now producing and hosting a radio show about “all things UofL”, overseeing the university’s video and TV productions, writing a blog and promoting UofL’s research operation. Mark is best known for his 22 years as the political and investigative reporter for WHAS-TV in Louisville where he won numerous awards for breaking stories, exposing corruption and objectively covering Kentucky politics. In 2014, Mark was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.