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

Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative

 Upcoming Events
   Lunch and Learn - April 25, 2019 
   Tickets available here.

 

                

 

  

 

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.

Visit the Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative for more information.

Background

In 2011,  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.

   Dr. Nivea Torres, Executive Director
Email: KReadinessCollaborative@gmail.com

 

 

       Shannon Maitland, MPA
      KindergartenReadinessIRC@gmail.com
    Office: 772-617-4350