Preparing Kids for School in Polk, Hardee & Highlands Counties
UWCF’s Early Childhood Education Initiative helps children to enter school ready to read.
Help us give all children a fighting chance to succeed in school and in life.
Less than 50% of Polk County’s kindergarten students pass the school readiness assessment. Children who start behind, stay behind. Students who enter kindergarten passing the school readiness assessment are more likely to learn to read at grade level, pass 3rd grade standardized tests and graduate on time.
Working with local experts in early education, UWCF established standards for early literacy services, age-appropriate curricula and assessments.
of preschoolers increased school readiness scores.
early childhood staff trained to provide quality programs.
Have you visited the Children’s Resource Center?
The Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center was made so parents can access information, support services and other tools in one central location.
Learn more about what kind of services and classes we offer for children birth to 5.
Types of Early Childhood Education services we fund:
- Early education training for teachers and paraprofessionals at childcare centers that serve hard-working, low-income families
- Childcare and early literacy programs for typically developing and special needs children (with sliding fee scales based on family size and income)
- Childcare and early literacy programs that are specialized for children experiencing homelessness
- Early literacy programs for children with parents enrolled in GED and English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes
- Parent education
- Early literacy summer camps
- Assessment and assistance for children with special needs, including but not limited to vision and hearing impairments, speech and language delays, physical and cognitive challenges
How we hold these services accountable:
- Children 4 to 5 years old will pass school readiness assessments upon entering kindergarten. (Mandatory for partners serving pre-k students.)
- Children birth to 6 years old will improve pre/post intervention performance on at least one approved indicator, scoring closer to widely held expectations for development and learning.
Partner agencies with funded services include:
- Achievement Academy, Inc.
- Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center
- Early Learning Coalition
- Explorations V Children’s Museum
- Family Literacy Academy at Lake Wales
- Learning Resource Center of Polk County, Inc.
- Lighthouse for the Blind & Low Vision, Polk Division
- The Salvation Army Serving West Polk
PO Box 1357,
Highland City, FL 33846
5605 US Highway 98 S.
Lakeland, FL 33812
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