Entering kindergarten prepared is a critical academic milestone for young children, and a leading predictor of future academic success. Research shows the earlier in a child’s educational process parent involvement begins, the more powerful the effect. With the help of a grant from United Way Worldwide, United Way Success By 6® has developed and executed a pilot project, Born Learning Communities, which targets families with young children in their natural community.
Born Learning Communities is based off the United Way Born Learning Academy -- a parent engagement initiative designed to empower parents as their child’s first teachers and familiarize families with the school system in the earliest years of their child’s education -- but taking the initiative directly to communities, rather than the schools. The pilot kicked off on June 14 in the City Heights community in Covington, Kentucky.
“Born Learning Communities serves as a prelude to the school-based Born Learning Academies by meeting families where they live, while connecting parents and creating a support system,” said Amanda Greenwell, director, United Way Success By 6®, Northern Kentucky. “We have great partners in Covington that were willing to step up and test this new program, and we have a Born Learning Academy supported by Biggs Preschool in Covington for these families to continue their learning.”
Introducing the importance of Early Learning
The purpose of the Born Learning Communities project is to introduce the importance of early learning throughout four sessions. The sessions focus on why early learning is important, the impact of everyday teachable moments, early literacy, and an overview of available community resources.
Each session included a family meal for the participants, a parent lesson, early learning opportunities for the children, and time for parents to practice the lesson with their children.
Along with Success By 6®, partners in the endeavor include: the Housing Authority of Covington (HAC), the Covington School District, Head Start, and Covington Partners. Head Start provides a mobile classroom and early childhood activities for each session. Along with the Covington School District, they act as co-facilitators to promote preschool and kindergarten registration.
“The Housing Authority of Covington is grateful for the opportunity to partner in launching the Born Learning Communities pilot in our City Heights neighborhood,” said Jon Adkins, program manager, Housing Authority of Covington. “We are confident that both parents and children are benefiting from the new skills and information they’re receiving on the importance of parental involvement in every-day learning experiences for kindergarten and beyond. HAC is committed to helping our families succeed!”