The STAR 3-to-3rd Project is a unique and innovative program, providing high-quality, culturally relevant early childhood education for indigenous children age three to grade three. As a consultant, Rachel Tso served as project coordinator through a three year grant from The Rural Trust to the STAR School, located on the southwestern edge of the Navajo Nation.
The first year Rachel collaborated in a team with the STAR 3-to-3rd director, faculty, and project evaluator. The focus was on fully implementing the program at STAR School and identifying and researching relevant education literature about each of the nine core elements of the curriculum. Rachel also arranged appropriate trainings and support for STAR faculty and staff.
In the second year, Rachel conducted extensive interviews with STAR 3-to-3rd faculty and parents and filmed for multiple days in each of the 3-to-3rd classrooms and at community events. She researched and wrote the scripts then created eight 15 to 20 minute instructional films about the core elements. She also identified appropriate filmed classroom observation moments for demonstration pieces for webinars and interactive powerpoint presentations, and continued in identifying salient research topics and literature with the 3-to-3rd team.
For the third year of the project, the 3-to-3rd team successfully completed workshops and trainings with two partner schools from Hawaii and one from New Mexico. In her role for this year, Rachel wrote the multimedia workshop curriculum with facilitator and participant guides, built a webpage for the project on STAR School's website, completed a literature review, and programmed tablets for each participant loaded with PDFs of the most salient 42 research articles, links to the training films, as well as maps and relevant webpages. She also negotiated outside trainings for faculty and the identifying and purchasing of materials for multiple classrooms throughout the country.