FORT MITCHELL, Ky. – Thanks to local and federal funding, United Way Born Learning® Academies have been expanded into additional Northern Kentucky elementary schools.
Florence Elementary, Campbell Ridge Elementary, Howell Elementary, Ryland Elementary, Mary A. Goetz Elementary, Newport Primary, and Southern Elementary will house these academies.
Funding for the initial expansion of the academies came from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky in 2013. Subsequent funding through Kentucky’s Race to the Top grant allowed for more rapid expansion of Toyota’s initial investment.
“Success By 6® is accelerating action around key strategies that have the broadest application and are based on evidence,” says Amy Neal, Northern Kentucky Success By 6 manager. “The partnership with the schools and parents is powerful. These pre-kindergarten workshops are key to increasing kindergarten readiness in our region.”
Of the families participating in pre-K readiness workshops, 98 percent report using what they learned in their homes.
Northern Kentucky has grown from one academy in 2009 to 18 academies through aligning strategies and leveraging resources. Currently, there are 94 United Way Born Learning Academies in Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana – 72 are in Kentucky.
Designed to support parents in their critical role as a child’s first teacher, Born Learning educational materials have been available through the efforts of United Way since 2005. In 2007, United Way of Greater Cincinnati Success By 6, Kenton County Schools under the direction of former superintendent Tim Hanner and Northern Kentucky University partnered to develop the Born Learning Academy.
The Born Learning Academy is a series of parent workshops that engage expectant parents and families with young children to support early learning and school readiness. With support from Toyota, Born Learning Academies are designed to increase kindergarten readiness in the Northern Kentucky area, and will undergo a national replication process to increase kindergarten readiness across the U.S. Early childhood faculty members Dr. Helene Arbouet Harte and Dr. Jaesook Gilbert of Northern Kentucky University developed the parent workshop curriculum, training guide and supplemental materials.