IMPACT - Kindergarten Readiness

United we fight for all kids in our community to reach their full potential.

Kate noticed her son Teddy wasn’t speaking like he should be around his second birthday. With support from her pediatrician she called Developmental Services Center, a United Way partner, and Teddy was enrolled in speech services.

After his third birthday, Teddy was able to enroll in his school district’s Special Education Program. “I just felt a flood of relief and hope that he would be in a program that gave him the boost that he needed to have a good education,” she said.

When Kate heard about the United Way – Champaign Unit 4 Kindergarten Readiness Camp, “I jumped on it… I realized as a parent that you need to take these opportunities when they come up.” The Kindergarten Readiness Camp is an innovative program funded by United Way that gives preschoolers exposure to a classroom environment and provides parents with school readiness activities to do at home with their child. 

A recent United Way study showed 33% of local kindergarteners weren’t prepared for the first day of school. Through our Kindergarten Readiness Camp and other initatives like our Walk as One and Getting Ready for Kindergarten Calendar, United Way aims to reduce that number.

Starting early is critical - kids who are prepared for kindergarten are more likely to graduate from high school. Cate Stallmeyer-Gerard, a local Kindergarten teacher, sees the importance of early intervention and school readiness programs every day. “The potential impact for the United Way Kindergarten Readiness initiative is that all kindergarteners enter on a level playing field. They have all had experiences talking, reading and playing and engaging in social activities that are going to set them up to be successful to working with partners in a classroom or working in small groups and listening to a story on the carpet.”

United Way’s Community Impact Fund supports 41 programs and initiatives that help people like Kate and her son Teddy. This is your gift at work.