Developing the soft skills necessary for succeeding in the workforce begins even before kindergarten.
That was the consensus reached during Wednesday's Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission meeting. The group discussed ways to work with children in Jamestown to better prepare them for the future.
Jennifer Satalino, SPPC co-chair, attended a Workforce Investment Board meeting last week, and relayed much of the information from that meeting to the commission. Additionally, at the previous SPPC meeting, representatives from Jamestown Public Schools spoke about ways the group might be able to help the school system.
Following last month's meeting, the SPPC formed an Education Action Team, spearheaded by Len Faulk. During Wednesday's meeting, the commission brainstormed ways to help students gain skills such as good work ethic and regular attendance.
"One of the things that really stuck with me is that the superintendent of Chautauqua Lake spoke about changing our whole thinking," Satalino said. "He said, instead of trying to fit more into the school day to get these kids where they should be, extend it. Either have things before school or after school."
The commission spoke of a variety of ideas, including a mentoring program for students. Additionally, it spoke about educating adults on the same soft skills.
Faulk also addressed some of the issues that were discussed with the Jamestown Public Schools, such as low test scores for students with disabilities and ESL students.
The Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission plans on bringing in educators at various levels to upcoming meetings, in order to address the needs in the community.