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

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