Building a head of steam rolling into Kindergarten

The first five years of a child’s life are a time of enormous social, emotional, physical, and intellectual growth. For children to grow into successful adults, they need a supportive and healthy early foundation. We know that nearly 1/2 of the children in our community are not prepared to enter kindergarten ready to learn, and we know that children who start out behind, tend to stay behind. In fact, nearly 2/3 of students who reach the fourth grade without proficient reading skills end up on welfare or in prison.  We are the community-wide convener in transforming Early Care and Education, based on our significant work in early childhood education including our most recent achievements with our Excellence Academy early learning centers through our collaboration with the Lift a Life Foundation and Community Coordinated Child Care. We now lead our community’s Ready for K Alliance partnership of nearly 100 partners for aligned strategies to boost improved early educational attainment.

Ready for K Impact Report

Dedicated to Improving Outcomes for Children

The Ready for K Alliance is focused on ensuring all children enter kindergarten ready to thrive. Kindergarten readiness is an important indicator of whether children will succeed in the classroom for years to come. Based on local data, Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) students who entered school ready for kindergarten in 2016 were over three times as likely to achieve test results at or above their grade level on their standardized math and reading tests in the 3rd grade.

For the 2019-2020 school year only 51.7% of JCPS incoming kindergarteners entered school ready for kindergarten. The Ready for K Alliance is dedicated to improving this outcome for children in our community, not only ensuring they have access to the supports they need from birth to kindergarten entry, but giving them the opportunity to thrive for years to come.

The Ready for K Alliance is committed to improving outcomes for children by focusing on four outcomes areas:

  • HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT

    Children are born healthy with access to resources to maintain healthy development.

  • ACCESS AND QUALITY

    Families have access to affordable, high-quality early care and education.

  • FAMILY AND CAREGIVER ENGAGEMENT

    Families and caregivers are equipped with knowledge and understanding of their child’s development and involve themselves in helping them thrive.

  • SYSTEMS ALIGNMENT

    Institutions, services, and agencies serving children are comprehensive, collaborative, aligned and coordinated.

Preparing all to achieve

See how we’re preparing all kids to win and kindergarten right from the start.

Real Stories

When we can get kids off to a good start, it allows them to build up a head of steam so that successes later in life can come easier. Metro United Way leads our community’s Ready for K Alliance partnership of nearly 100 partners for aligned strategies to boost improved early educational attainment. W-A-T-C-H Dr. Felicia Cumings Smith with Jefferson County Public Schools talk about the importance of this powerful partnership and impact it makes in our community!

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