By Emily Watkins
Preparing kids for kindergarten requires more than just giving them paper and pencils. It requires building early literacy skills, fostering resiliency, and positive relationships with caregivers. Our schools also have to be ready to welcome them. We, as a community, need to unite and rally behind our community’s youngest children and their parents by giving, advocating and volunteering.
Spearheaded by the United Way Women’s Leadership Council, volunteers can be a part of the United Way movement by raising supplies and assembling school readiness kits. The kits serve as a force multiplier to our region’s school readiness efforts. First, they serve the real and tangible need of kids having the supplies to practice the essential skills they will use in kindergarten. Second, the kits are incentives for parents to come to Kindergarten Registration Day, where they learn more information about how to best prepare their child for kindergarten and serve as their child’s first teacher. Lastly, on-time kindergarten registration also helps the schools have time to adequately prepare for each child. The calculation is simple but the result is powerful:
A child with the necessary tools X A more informed parent X A more prepared school
Equals more children ready to succeed in school and life
Last year, we had 1,329 better-prepared kids walking into 24 better-prepared schools throughout our region. That’s 24 neighborhoods in our community where their rising kindergarteners are increasingly ready to succeed in school and life. All of the committed donors, advocates and volunteers that make up the United Way movement are creating a more prosperous and resilient region for us all. Join us by hosting a drive because the impact is far greater than just the paper and pencils.