Get Ready, Iowa! Partnering to Enhance the School Readiness of Iowa's Children

The goal of this year's Obermann Summer Seminar, Get Ready Iowa!, is to work toward a statewide effort to foster school readiness by harnessing the processes that underlie basic changes in cognitive skills between three and five years of age. The Delta Center - the key partner in this summer's seminar - is a world leader in the basic science of individual development during this critical window of development. The Delta Center/Obermann partnership, and this seminar in particular, are intended to translate this basic understanding of development into an effective intervention program.

Get Ready Iowa builds on recent advances in the science of individual development. The idea is simple:  if we understand the processes that underlie growth and change in cognitive abilities in the critical window before children enter kindergarten, we can target those processes to promote readiness. Recent data suggest that such efforts can have positive impacts on school performance, particularly when researchers, parents, teachers, and communities work together on readiness. Thus, Get Ready Iowa will not only tap the expertise of researchers who study how children's thinking changes over time; this partnership will also tap the rich knowledge that parents, teachers, and community partners can bring to bear on school readiness.

The Summer Seminar will include:

  • A discussion of "civic science" and efforts to bring scientists and non-scientists together to share knowledge and work;
  • Presentations by several leading scholars in the field of school readiness during a two-day conference;
  • Meetings of local educational leaders, including parents, teachers, policymakers, and community partners, to identify the key components of readiness and potential barriers to readiness.