The first five years of a child’s life encompass nearly 90% of brain development! Starting early in these important and exciting years, parents have the power to set their kids up for success in their short and long term futures. During this time, parents can promote language and literacy by reading together every day and providing their children access to their choice of books.
Despite this, our recently released 2015 Community Report for Champaign County revealed that in Urbana and Champaign school districts 33% of children were not prepared to succeed in kindergarten. Kindergarten readiness encompasses behavior, emotional, and academic preparation and directly affects a child’s later academic success. The Community Report also shows that there are various economic, social, and environmental reasons a child may not have the access to books that will prepare them for school. To read the entire report, please visit uwayhelps.org/CommunityReport.
In order to improve kindergarten preparation throughout our community United Way is working closely with other local agencies to provide parents and children the support they need during the crucial early years of development. Through our partnership with CU Cradle to Career we are educating parents on small, everyday things they can do with their children to encourage brain development. With the support of the East Central Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council we have developed the Getting Ready for Kindergarten calendar, which gives a simple and fun tip each day that parents can use to engage and educate their child. We post daily tips for parents on our Pre-K Tip A Day twitter account. Through these partnerships and the funding of many local programs, we are able to combat low kindergarten readiness and strengthen Education in our community.