Dr. Kim Hale
Dr. Kimberly Hale, an associate professor in Educational Foundations and Special Education at ETSU, serves as the Director of the Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development. Since joining the ETSU faculty in 2007, Dr. Hale has sought out opportunities to engage with colleagues from multiple disciplines at ETSU seeking to improve early childhood systems in our Appalachian region. Currently, Dr. Hale, David Wood, Professor Pediatrics in the Quillen College of Medicine, and Lottie Ryans, the Director of Workforce and Literacy Initiatives at the First Tennessee Development District, are partnering with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee Health Foundation, the City of Johnson City, Washington County, and the UCLA Center for Healthier Child, Families, and Communities, in a national initiative called Transforming Early Childhood Community Systems (TECCS). This initiative was developed to match school readiness solutions with the unique needs of families in our community. Using the Early Development Instrument (EDI) data, the TECCS initiative will provide local policymakers and key community stakeholders with local level information on children’s developmental outcomes during the kindergarten year. Community Profile Maps will be available to our community in Summer 2020 and will provide information on children’s development by geographic areas using census tracts along with other indicators including socio-demographic characteristics and community assets in order to help understand possible factors contributing to the observed outcomes in children. The goal of this project is to mobilize and engage local leaders around a data-driven and action oriented process to inform local planning and improvement activities for families and young children in our community.