Early Learning System


Early Learning Initiatives

HEA assists community partners in developing Networks and Initiatives to achieve our county’s vision for a strong foundation for every child. Each organization plays a critical role in the lives of children and families in our community.

Tools of the Mind for Preschools and Kindergarten

HEA has supported the implementation of Tools of the Mind in area classrooms. This program helps preschool and kindergarten instructors teach children how to develop stronger executive function and self-regulation skills. Teachers use make-believe play, individualized instruction, and focused whole-child development strategies. Tools of the Mind is a high-quality, evidence-based curriculum for preschool and kindergarten, based on the developmental theory of Lev Vygotsky.

Self-Regulation Strategies for Preschool

All young children need to develop self-regulation and executive function skills in their earliest school experiences. These skills determine their preparedness for school and success in life. HEA provides Professional Development Programs for early childhood professionals to help them implement consistent strategies within their classrooms to teach these vital skills.

PAX Good Behavior Game

PAX Good Behavior Game (PAX GBG) is a simple tool used during classroom instruction in the elementary school grades to teach children to have voluntary control over their attention and increase their ability to self-regulate. The HEA Network identified PAX GBG as an evidence-based intervention that gives children lasting self-regulation skills.

In Spring of 2013, three school districts piloted PAX GBG in 13 classrooms. The results were significant, and there was a strong affirmation for expansion. Today, every school district in Elkhart County and 95% of all elementary schools have teachers trained to use PAX GBG (over 300 teachers). The results speak for themselves.

HEA’s Model of Change

Child and Family

HEA builds the capacity of the adults that interact with children.

Early Learning

With a strong foundation, young people are able to become lifelong learners.

Student Pathways

Developing a strong and aligned talent pipeline for our community.

Adult Pathways

Building pathways to high-demand careers and higher earning potential.