Contact Us Take The Pledge      
Transforming a Generation: 90% Literacy by Third Grade
Join the others who have taken the pledge:
Celeste McWilliams, Emily Wick, Christina Hayes, Nancy Blessing, briana carter, Jennifer Durrett, belinda washimgton-davis, Elizabeth Pinkney, DOE-OEL, kayla poindexter, Leslie Jones, Therese Victoria, Carol David, Andrea Cosner, Tricia Boyle, Mark Farrell, Rebecca Blair, Lisa Guilmette, -1' 1, Fellsmere Police Department FPD, Cathryn Miquelon, Katrena McMahan, Renee Lincoln, Mary Graves, Ann Mathis, Tara Luton , Raquel Searcy, Wendi Adams, Ralph Sunshine Acquisitions, maria marron, Alejandrina Micket, Patricia Mandell, JIM BATORY, Yasmin Medina, Karen Taylor, Casey Dunn, MAry Grace Hektner, Matthew McManus, tommy collettit, Sharon Klein, donna palmquist, Susan Rosier, Jeff Miller, Theresa Wagner, Doug Glenn, Ralph Autullo, Jill Truax, Fenia Hiaasen, Annie Brown, Emily Jarrett, Carolina Rojas, Maureen Nicolace, VBKA, 211/Help Me Grow, Christina Lindgren, Amy Kelly, Heather Young, Sandra Daniel, Marsha Van Arman, Marta Cronin, Laurie Pedersen, Louis and Sara Smith, Heather Quigley, Emme Scheible, Amanda Emanuel, Kelli Mejia, Stacey Fletcher, John obrien, FRAN PERKINS, Kevin Maloney, Kirra OBrien, yaquelin andrade, Kerilyn Ngom, Healthy Families, Becky Levesque, Nancy Sparkman, Fidelity Investments, Jayne Becker, Farrah Lemanski, Renee Boesch, Elizabeth Tetreault, Indian River County Chamber of, janice pagan, JIM BATORY, buzz wurzer, Cheryl Gondek, allene moorehead, Margaret Autullo, Tracey Barker, Michael Van Houten, Shanti Sanchez, Christine Ryall, Dr. David Christiansen, Susan Del Tufo, Kim Klaus, TLA, Toni Reukauf, Jeanne Prince, Kaori Fischer, Kenny Carmichael, Marisela Luna, Ronda Weaver, GEORGE JETT, Ana Renuart, Lucy Roy-Delapaz, Sharon Delo, Boys & Girls Clubs of Indian River County, Arianna Lagges, FELLSMERE ELEMENTARY, Maria Ortiz, Guillermina Walker, Indian River Taekwondo Langlois, Kathleen Nealy, Elizabeth Falkiewicz, Nancy De La Hoz, Page Woodward, Arlene Kahn, shelby dorris, Dean Stewart Photography, Christine Sturgeon, Fourth Quadrant Partners, Karen Disney, Tessa Stanley, Gretchen DiVincenzo, Pamela Miller, Hayley Gondek, Bridgette Diskin, Brittany Bailey, Carla Cundiff, Tammy Eriksen, Christy Baer, Debra Schroeder, Helene Caseltine, Angela Bosman, Heather Thompson, Lisa Bishop, Sara Goodman, Emilia Jacobs, cheryl gondek, Kathryn Perez, Randall Hunt, Elaine McGinty, Marie OBrien, Rachel Holpfer, Gifford Youth Activity Center, parker hammond, Kathleen Hamilton, Amanda Stevens, Jennifer Roberts, Janet Farmer, Mary Ann Kalin, Patrick Toole, Paige Newinski, jacki decaro, Susan Rosier, Mary Strickler, Jeff The Bro, Amber Petry, Crystal Gothe, Megan Falcone, Adam Faust, Linda Condit, Rebecca Turner, Kerilyn Ngom, Sterling Bobbitt , test test, uritayay, Natalie Arbuckle, Janai Cooper, Mary Laquidara, Annie Brown, -1' 1, Mark yBzNyaFpSKdSM, Tami Haffield, Ashley Farruggio, Joy Lukomski, Kimberly Robideau, 1 -1', Whole Child Indian River, Sue Sharpe, Jamie Stalter, Clare Hughes, LaTanya Morgan, Sharon Klein, Kayla Chitty, Mindy Lessem Pollack, Alaina McCloud, Socorro Luna, Dorothy Cominsky, Sherry White, Mary Kramek, Shawna Carton, Kim Brady, Keondra Eberhardt, Jennifer Seifstein, joshua poindexter, Vero Beach Museum of Art, Phoebe Beacham, Gabrielle Wagner, Isabel Marron , Tiffany Justice, Erin Hollander, Katherine Wolf, Susan Del Tufo, Patricia Beaudoin, jennifer jackson, Janie Graves Hoover, Susan Rosier, Milli Wenzel, Cynthia Jorgensen, Diane Bressner, Nancy Blessing, Tisa Blidgen, tommy collettit, Karen Malits, Andrea Cosner, sabrina fraga, Suzi Rusin, ann prince, valerie conway, Kelley Williams, Heidi Lourie, Liz Tetreault, Keith Touchberry, Susan Del Tufo, Lisa Segroves, Kelly Sartain, audrey colonna, Jennifer Steele, Lesley Lane, Lenora Ritchie, matt KdPIOvmNNItBy, Nichole Harris, Kelly Palmer, Jessica Cox, Katie Collier, Judy Whalen, Erica Thomas, Deborah Dillon, Agnieszka Szymanska, Hope Woodhouse , Kay Yurigan, Jody Houston, judy jones, Lori Nalls, Michelle Chandler, Donna Hedgecock, Bill McMullen, kelly baysura, Deirdre Creech, 1 1, Laura Zorc, Heidi Lourie, Isabel Marron , STEPHANIE CLARK, Patricia Mandell, Becky Warren, Gloria Luna, Diane Mahan, Linda Hammerle, Tara Miranda, jorge luis ramirez, Krishna Patel, kari broomell, Janet Alford, 1 1, Nicolas ospina de la hoz, sharon richards, Sharon Klein, renee fraker, Shannon Gillen, Amy Speak, Lisa Barnum, Courtney Mellin, Margaret Dawson-Brown, Rhonda McGilberry, Kathy Minix, AmeriCorps/Big Brothers Big Sister, Lorri Dior, Edward Shanaphy, Lisa Guillette, Samantha Breen, Megan Falcone, Ramon Echeverria, Taylor Walker, Leslie Connelly, Clare Hughes, Di Pugh, Fidelity Investments, Bent Pine Golf Club, Chuck Evans, Tiffany Carlsen, carrie fernandez, Michele Sternberg, keesha trusty, Heather Thompson, Dorie Shemo, Devi Maharajh, Dorie Shemo, jennifer roker, Michele Smith, Nate & Kristen Bruckner, Heather Helton, Brooke Flood, hannah kauferh, SHARYN A HAWKER, Karen Newkirk, Vero Equine Riding Academy , Tina Campbell, Brenda Zamora, Karen Newkirk, Vero Beach Magazine, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc., Elizabeth Stenger, Kidz Closet Charities, Harvest Food & Outreach Center, Nicole Piontek, maria miranda, Melissa Hall, charlene bentien, Nancy Prizito, Jenna Chatfield, Kathryn Woodall, Narda Pitkethly, Teri Dugan, Vero Beach Police Department, Lydia Galbraith, audrey colonna, Cathy Durrett-Filusch, United Way of Indian River Co., Mardy Fish Children's Foundation, Dr. Connie Proskovec, Sonja Phillips, Thomas Moore, mary kannapes, Donna Hedgecock, East Coast Earthworks & Excavating, Angel Maldonado, Kaori Fischer, Angel Maldonado, Autumn Wheeler, Melody M Englert, Sandy Hamrick, liz woody, Melinda Judson, Rose Brickles, Michelle Bass, Bobbie Donelson, Sherrie Hale, Tirso Moreno, Angela Jawhar, Mike Gaudio, Lisa Wheeler, Tabitha Johnston, Kim Klaus, Gloria Severino, Traci McGough, Christopher Cummings, yaquelin andrade, Kelli Mejia, Mary Anne Sitkowski, Diane Donar, Dasie Hope Center, Matt McManus, Pamela Prange, Shariea Shoatz, Laura McGill, ggdxfg fdgfh, Christina Lindgren, Kristen Jones, Ramon Echeverria, Elizabeth Pinkney, Elias Medina, Lilibeth Ballina, Nancy De La Hoz, Kristin Culbreth, Dee Hollenbeck, LaTanya Gibson, Maria Alvarez, mardy hall, LaTanya Morgan, Bruce Green, Kristi Challenor, Gina Sultaire, shelby dorris, Kristina Trahan, ruth darrigo, Indian River County Lawyers Auxiliary, Ramon Echeverria, Tessa House, F.A.C.T. Fellsmere Action Community Team, Lillian Marsiglia, Susan Aguirre , Beth Livers, hannah kaufeh, sharon butler, Jennifer Croom, Liane McMullen, Christy Baer , Becky Allen, Gisele Parker, Teri Dugan, Hollie McDougall, Rhonda McGilberry, 1 -1', ISABELLA LAGGES, Robyn Bethel, Kelly Palmer, Debra Barnesd, Lisa McFaland, Cindi Ellis, mardy hall, Brittany Lindsey, Barbara Johnson, Annie Brown, Susan Del Tufo, Vero Beach Museum of Art, Sophie Wood, Helene Caseltine, The Buggy Bunch, Achillies Pace, Carrie Spencer, elizabeth bahl, Juelie Perry, Milli Wenzel,

Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative

 Upcoming Events
Let's Go To School partnership with the Indian River County library. The program will run for 8 weeks, starting on June 11 - August 5th, from 6 - 7 pm at the main library.

                

 

__________________

The Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative is hosting a free summer party for families with young children.  The purpose of the event is to meet the community and introduce the community to the KRC team, while celebrating summer!  The party will run from 10 am - 2 pm.  (If it rains, the party will be cancelled.)  The party will be held at the corner of 45th Street and40th Avenue in Gifford, Florida.

 

__________________

  • Special Thanks to Everyone Who Participated in the Kindergarten RoundUp event in February!

 

 

Our vision is all children in Indian River County are prepared for kindergarten across the five critical domains: social/emotional, physical health and wellbeing, cognitive, communication and adaptive learning.

Background

Four years ago, a cross-sector of Indian River County educators, civic leaders, philanthropists, nonprofit organizations and volunteers rallied to support a bold, strategic goal to have 90 percent of all third grade students reading on grade level by the year 2018. Aligned around the mantra schools can’t do it alone, these Literacy Leaders were keenly aware of research that cites literacy as the number one indicator of a community’s economic prosperity. They gave their pledge to the Superintendent of Schools to work collaboratively to develop innovative programs, both in and out of the classroom, to help achieve what has become known as Indian River County’s Moonshot Moment goal.   

One of the three critical pillars to achieving grade level reading proficiency is kindergarten readiness. As the local work to address each pillar unfolded, community discussions quickly led to the creation of the Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative (KRC); a dedicated group of leaders who embarked on a year-long strategic planning process to review and research best practices, conduct an environmental scan of local conditions, and develop local strategies to support 90% of Indian River County (IRC) children arriving at kindergarten ready to learn. 

Why It Matters:

Kindergarten readiness starts long before a child enters a formal education setting. Neuroscience research has shown the first 1,000 days of a child’s life – from pregnancy through a child’s second birthday – are a critical time period that set the stage for a person’s intellectual development and lifelong health. Brain development, and therefore learning, begins with the health, nutrition and wellbeing of mothers during pregnancy. The brain development that occurs following birth, through a child’s second birthday, is also noted as one of the most critical building blocks for educational success. Brain development at this stage is based on good nutrition, talking, playing and building positive emotional bonds with others.

Research by Nobel Laureate economist, Professor James Heckman, indicates investing in early childhood education is a cost-effective strategy for promoting economic growth. His analysis shows a seven to 10 percent per year return on investment based on increased school and career achievement as well as reduced costs in remedial education, health and criminal justice expenditures. Heckman’s research shows early interventions (prevention) for disadvantaged children produce higher returns than remedial programs, offering an $8.60 return for every dollar spent. In addition, a meta-analysis of 123 comparative studies of early childhood intervention consistently showed quality preschool significantly benefits school readiness and success.  These findings are supported by the Perry Preschool Project, a longitudinal study that followed participants who attended a high-quality preschool program for more than 40 years, which showed the benefits continue into adulthood. Compared to a control group who did not attend preschool, Perry participants were five times less likely to be arrested; more likely to hold a college degree, own a home and be employed.    To ensure the health and well-being of future generations, and the economic prosperity of our community, we must invest in early learning opportunities and the family support structures that create quality early learning environments for our children. 

Current Conditions:

The reality is that most children who start kindergarten behind stay behind. Research tells us that only one in seven children who are behind in third grade will ever catch up. Currently, 44 percent of IRC kindergarteners are on grade level by the end of kindergarten. This increases slightly to 56 percent by the end of third grade. There are a number of risk factors that contribute to children arriving at school not prepared, many of which stem from poverty conditions. The limitations poverty imposes on families are real and significant. According to the United Way ALICE Report 47% of families in IRC are unable to meet basic food, housing and health needs. These Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed families make more than the federal poverty level, but not enough to cover the basic cost of living. Childcare is a significant portion of a household’s budget and with limited resources there are few options for affordable care that is also high in quality. 

Although the state of Florida provides subsidy dollars for childcare for children 0-3 years old (School Readiness Program, SRP), as well as funding for all four and early five-year old children to attend Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK), the dollar amount ranks among the lowest in the nation. In addition, while access to VPK is high, quality guidelines are also among the lowest. Florida standards meet just three out of 10 national best practices as reported by The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER).  

 Collaborative Process:

Over the past 12 months, the KRC investigated a child’s path from conception to kindergarten.  The process involved gathering data from various service providers that was often difficult to access.  Collaborative members also visited many promising practices both locally and throughout the State to gain new insight and knowledge about how others are addressing kindergarten readiness.  This effort not only brought forth new ideas, but allowed members the valuable opportunity to develop relationships and trust that will lead to more effective collaboration in the future. Throughout the course of the year, the Collaborative hosted three community summits to give members and other community leaders the opportunity to share what they learned and gather critical feedback and engagement on next step strategies. 

The early years of a child’s life are a complex and changing environment which are impacted by multiple factors. Historically, our community has had several attempts to shore up the early learning sector, and while small gains have been achieved, none have resulted in widespread impact. Because of the complexities, the KRC has adopted an Emergent Learning approach to find innovative solutions. This strategy recognizes our best answers to current problems are really only hypotheses that we can test, adjust and adapt on the way to success. Challenges are a stepping stone toward the right solution, rather than a failure that will put us back at step one.

    Jessie Ray, MUEP      Shannon Maitland, MPA
      Manager, KRC           Coordinator, KRC
    Email: KReadinessCollaborative@gmail.com and KindergartenReadinessIRC@gmail.com
    Office: 772-617-4350