"I love that first day of school when the children say, 'I remember you, you came to my house.'"
Pre-K Partners teacher
Children who enter kindergarten with language or other cognitive deficiencies, underdeveloped social skills, or poor health are at a significant disadvantage and, research suggests, may never catch up with their peers. Assessments of entering students nationwide indicate that between one third and one half of young children in disadvantaged school districts arrive without many of the basic skills required to succeed in today's fast-paced kindergarten curriculum.
The Ohio Children’s Foundation has become part of a national effort to improve kindergarten readiness. It is an important step in addressing a wide range of deficiencies, whether they be cognitive, social or health related, prior to a child’s entering the school environment.
The Foundation has sponsored numerous initiatives to increase kindergarten-readiness. Pre-K Partners, based on research which suggests that the school/family relationship is critically important to the success of young children. The Foundation added this research to nearly a year of input from a sixty-member, community-based task force to create Pre-K Partners.
The program combined home visits by kindergarten staff to families of entering kindergartners, a colorful backpack of supplies and activities to build skills, and parent handbook on kindergarten preparation and enrollment, and a book to build pre-literacy skills. More than 10,000 families of entering kindergartners in Franklin County and several Ohio Appalachian counties received home visits over eight program years.
The Foundation also commissioned a children’s book by nationally acclaimed children’s author, Michael J. Rosen, to build pre-literacy skills in young children. To date, we have distributed more than 50,000 copies of You, Me, and the ABCs throughout Ohio and other states.