The Child Development Associate (CDA) Program, a part of Ready.Set.READ! Growing Readers, is a
3-year program designed to enhance early childhood education and curriculum support; focus on kindergarten readiness and reduce turnover of the trained workers. The CDA program gives child care teachers at targeted centers an opportunity to earn their credentials through classes at Reading Area Community College. The program includes a monitoring component to measure curriculum use in the participating centers.
Araika Correa is a graduate of the program and is currently employed at Opportunity House’s Second Street Learning Center. She shared more insight into her experience with the program and how it has helped her in her current role.
Why did you decide to participate in the CDA program through Ready.Set.READ!/United Way?
The reason I decide to participate in the CDA program through Ready.Set.READ!/United Way, was because I have always wanted to go back to school but I was scared to. Also the cost and time commitment was too much. Thankfully, the ladies from United Way reassured me that I will be successful, and I was.
How has the training helped you in your current role?
The training helped me in my current role because it allowed me to learn things that I am currently doing at work, and it gave me the opportunity to take the steps of bettering myself and my family.
What has been your favorite memory from participating in the program?
My favorite memory of participating in the program was that I met a lot of good people and teachers that were there to help and they made sure that we never gave up.
Has there been an obstacle you have overcome due to your involvement in this program?
The obstacle that I overcame was me having a learning disability which made me ashamed to read out loud, or even be around people, that I thought were more intelligent.
How has the program inspired any future/continued learning or education plans?
This program inspired me to continue my education. I just graduated in March with a CDA prep certificate from Reading Area Community College, and I am also continuing for my Associates Degree in Early childhood Education.