We’re Making it Possible for All Kids to Have the Same Starting Spot
United Way of Central Florida’s Success By 6 and Early Childhood Education Initiative gives kids the support they need to be ready for their first year of school.
Our community needs programs like these so all kids can have the same opportunity to succeed in school – no matter their family’s income, skin color or zip code.
Gaps in Readiness
All kids are different. Some kids will already be able to cut construction paper on a straight line. Others will still be working on just holding the scissors. Some won’t know the differences between “b” and “d,” and some will have mastered the whole alphabet. Some will be great at sharing toys, while others will need a little more convincing to give their friend a turn with the red crayon.
While some differentiation in capabilities is normal, there are certain literacy, numeracy, social-emotional, physical and linguistic skills and abilities that all kids need to be active participants in kindergarten. Making sure all kids have these baseline skills on day one is about equity.
Studies show that students who are black, Hispanic, Native American and from families living below the poverty line are often developmentally and academically behind their peers who are white, Asian and from affluent families.* The gap is not inherent to a child’s cultural, socioeconomic or geographical background but rather a result of years of economic, housing, cultural and other policies that have disproportionately hurt people of color and who work low- and middle-skill jobs. These policies have created a gap in opportunities to learn for the children of these families.
Why Kindergarten Readiness Matters
Kindergarten is a formative learning year. It’s when children learn the skills that will help them adapt and succeed in later years of school. If more kids have the skills and abilities they need to be successful in school when they start kindergarten, they will have a greater opportunity to achieve success in high school and beyond.
United Way and Kindergarten Readiness
United Way of Central Florida works with families, early childhood educators and childcare providers to help all kids entering kindergarten start from the same spot.
Through programs like Family Fundamentals, UWCF:
- Provides greater access to services – Thirty-six community agencies partner to provide services to children and their families in a one-stop opportunity at Family Fundamentals every day. We serve all people from all walks of life and all socioeconomic classes.
- Works to strengthen families – We provide parents, grandparents, caregivers and guardians with all the resources and support they need to be the best parents they can be!
- Promotes family literacy – Family Fundamentals hosts special events to promote the importance of reading to children beginning at birth.
- Provides developmental evaluations, counseling, casework and many other services.
By making it possible for all kindergartners to develop the skills and abilities they need in school, we help level the playing field.
Support from generous community members like you helps sustain these programs. Please consider making an investment in high-quality pre-K education today.
*National Center for Education Statistics, Fast Facts on Knowledge and Skills of Young Children