United Way will provide families with opportunities to ensure their children are receiving early development care in order to ready them for academic success.
Success By 6
As part of a broader, more comprehensive program to address the needs of children in our community, United Way of Youngstown and Mahoning Valley will provide resources for a four-week summer program for pre-Kindergarten children with a focus on school readiness. This program will address literacy skills, but also help the child adapt to the new environment.
During the summer of 2022, we prepared more than 650 students to enter Kindergarten in 18 school districts across the Mahoning Valley. The students all experienced an average 10-point gain in their early literacy assessments.
Kindergarten Readiness Bags
These bags will provide learning support for incoming kindergarteners in the months before school begins so that children can start school ready to learn. They will include our Ready, Set, Grow! Calendar that provides educational tips and activities for children leading up to kindergarten, An Apple A Day Responsibility Tracker that provides a calendar of age-appropriate tasks to be performed by the child, and educational manipulatives that the children can utilize to prepare for the classroom. Many of these materials are not easily accessible to the population we are targeting, low to moderate-income level children living in Youngstown.
Over the summer of 2022, we distributed 100 Kindergarten Readiness Bags to children throughout the Youngstown Area.
Our goal is to increase the number of Youngstown City children receiving books by 25%. Children who live in homes with books and are read too early will be more likely to read on schedule and reach their grade level reading levels on time. However, children living in poverty do not have easy access to books. Imagination Library helps change that by delivering a free, high-quality, age-appropriate book to the child’s home from birth to age 5. Under this initiative, we work closely with partner agencies that work with this demographic to register the children as early as birth.
In the spring of 2022, we participated in Read Across America thanks to our sponsor, #1 Cochran Chevrolet Buick GMC. We hosted an Imagine with Us event at Struthers Elementary School and welcomed guest readers into our Success After 6 schools.
Currently, 6,900 children are enrolled in Imagination Library in Mahoning County!
SUCCESS BY 6 DURING THE PANDEMIC
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we faced many challenges in reaching our children to best prepare them for school. We got creative and worked closely with our school districts to provide unique and innovative ways to help the children.
The Youngstown Foundation