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.

This work does not just involve preschools – success requires strong families, safe homes and timely screenings to ensure kids are meeting their developmental milestones.

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News & Updates


Community Updates

Hear from local leaders about their work that supports the Prepared for Kindergarten Step.

What We Do

United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg understands the importance of school readiness, as well as the holistic approach required to truly prepare our young children for kindergarten. That’s why we invest in programs that focus on family stability, early literacy, and social and emotional development.

  • United Way’s Kindergarten Countdown Camp is a free summer learning program for rising kindergarten students with limited to no preschool experience. Taught by licensed teachers, Kindergarten Countdown Camp prepares students and their parents for a successful start in kindergarten.
  • Throughout the year, we collect and assemble more than 1,000 United Way Literacy Kits that are distributed to students in our region. Each kit includes schools supplies, an age-appropriate book, information for parents and supplies for children.
  • We serve as the backbone of the Petersburg City and Schools Partnership, which works to create the climate and conditions for every child to succeed by providing a sustainable, coordinated system of supports and access.
  • United Way’s Steps to Success Early Learning Trails help parents, caregivers and communities use everyday moments outdoors to boost school readiness of children in their preschool years. These interactive trails contain 10 signs with expert-approved learning games, each with fun and easy activities for children and adults to do together.

How You Can Help

  • Donate. Give to United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. Let us know you want your gift to help prepare young children for kindergarten.
  • Volunteer. United Way volunteers host literacy events and prepare school-readiness kits for students. Send us an email to get involved, or visit our Events page to see our existing opportunities.
  • Connect. Parents, pediatricians and childcare providers can call 2-1-1 for information about developmental screening and early intervention services in your area.