Back-to-School: Prepared for Kindergarten

In order to be kindergarten-ready, young children need quality early education, strong relationships with families, a safe and secure home environment and regular health and developmental screenings and support.

Today, we know without a doubt that quality early childhood education leads to more success in kindergarten and throughout life. For low-income children, early childhood education is one of the keys to upward mobility. It also leads to a stronger economy for all of us.

As we prepare to kick off a new school year, it’s critical that we think about those who are just beginning their educational journey. Learn more about the issue, support United Way and help give young children across our region a successful start.

United Way Launches Kindergarten Countdown Camp

United Way wants every kindergarten student to start school ready to learn and succeed. That’s why we are launching Kindergarten Countdown Camp, a new program for rising kindergarten students in our area. Read more.

Preparing for a New School Year: Kindergarten

The first day of school is a big deal for any student, particularly young learners headed to “big school” for the first time. With a new school year upon us, what are some things parents and families can do to help their child start the year off right? Learn more from local expert Shelia Pleasants.

Steps to a Successful School Year: Kindergarten

What makes kindergarten readiness so important? What is United Way doing to support students, schools and communities? Learn more in our four-part series covering everything from pre-K to high school graduation!

Early Childhood Education: A Partnership for Success

Quality early childhood education has a major impact on a child’s physical, social and cognitive development and helps them prepare for the kindergarten classroom. United Way’s Shelia Pleasants spent 14 years running an early childhood education program in Richmond. Read her thoughts on this important topic.

Spotlight: Children’s Health Insurance

If a young child is not receiving appropriate medical care and is not healthy, it is difficult—if not impossible—for that child to be prepared for kindergarten. We interviewed Margaret Nimmo Holland, Executive Director of Voices for Virginia’s Children, to learn more about this important issue. Read the interview.

Spotlight: PALS-K

Fall PALS-K benchmarks help schools identify kindergarten students who are performing below developmentally appropriate levels on fundamental literacy skills and need additional instruction. Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond shared what PALS-K is and what it tells us about school readiness. Read the article.

Supported Agencies

Hear from leaders at our funded agencies that support the Prepared for Kindergarten Step.

Kindergarten Readiness: By the Numbers

Our new online data hub tracks data related to kindergarten readiness. Indicators include PALS-K benchmarks, health insurance coverage, early childhood education and early intervention programs. Learn more and see how our region is doing.