In Kentucky, 51% of students arrive in kindergarten ready to succeed; for Hispanic children, the figure is only 31%. A United Way literacy effort aimed at Hispanic families in Northern Kentucky will address that readiness gap. The project, called NKY Book in a Bottle, received a $12,000 grant from the E.W. Scripps Company to distribute kits that include bilingual books and a “literacy discovery bottle” containing objects representing an idea or a character from the books. The project will partner with volunteers, school districts and community agencies to assemble and distribute the kits.
United Way’s support of quality early-childhood education is rooted in data that show children who are kindergarten-ready are far more likely to succeed in school and to achieve financial stability later in life.
Studies have shown that supporting a child’s home language helps improve academic performance, even when the languages spoken at home and at school are different. Bilingual books are helpful for Latino parents and students no matter where they are on the spectrum of reading and learning English.
Assembling the bilingual kits will offer year-round volunteer opportunities. Community agencies that support Spanish-speaking families in Northern Kentucky will distribute the kits at community gatherings.
The Northern Kentucky Area Center has received a $15,000 sponsorship to support a project that will put College Success Kits into the hands of first-generation college students. The sponsor is Perfetti Van Melle, a confectionery and chewing gum maker with operations in Erlanger.
Community members and corporate partners are being sought to assemble the kits outdoors on June 16 at UWGC’s Northern Kentucky Center, 2120 Chamber Center Drive, Fort Mitchell. Kits will include dorm room essentials, as well as items such as school supplies, toiletries and cleaning products. For more information, contact Kaeli Erskine, Kaeli.Erskine@uwgc.org, or call her at 859-647-5517.
First-generation college students from families with insufficient resources need more support than students whose parents have earned a degree. The College Success Kits will be distributed to 136 Northern Kentucky students for the 2021-2022 school year. Kit recipients will be identified by Northern Kentucky school districts and these community agencies: Covington Partners; NaviGo; Esperanza Latino Center of NKY; and Education, Empowerment and Respect (EER).