The United Way of the Wabash Valley’s Success By 6 Impact Council created a project to provide kindergarten-readiness packs, or “K-Packs” to help children develop needed skills for kindergarten. The K-Packs include activity plans and materials that will provide families with instructions on literacy and numeracy-building skills, opportunities for pretend play, practicing fine motor activities, all while fostering critical thinking, experimentation, and creativity. These activities will help develop skills that are needed to create a foundation for learning. A solid base of skills like these can greatly influence a child’s later academic success.
The project was funded by a Strong Start grant from Early Learning Indiana, but Success By 6 saw the stress that COVID was placing on the education of our current kindergarteners and decided to extend funding for the project to include at-risk kindergartners in our community. These first-year students have seen many disruptions in their learning which could become detrimental to their future educational success if a strong foundation is not laid during this crucial time. These K-Packs are meant to bridge that gap by providing ways for children to learn by having fun.
Success By 6 is planning to distribute 2,700 K-Packs across the community, with 1,800 funded by the grant and targeted to children preparing to enter kindergarten next year. The remaining 900 will be strategically provided to at-risk kindergartners with the help of local school corporations. There have been 29 distribution sites secured, so far, for children entering school next year. But United Way is seeking help from the community in reaching more groups of 4 and 5-year-old children to help us distribute these important packs.
Renee Henry, Success By 6 member and coordinator for the project with the Terre Haute Children’s Museum explained, “We are looking for partners to get these K-Packs into the hands of every four-year-old in the five Indiana counties and to those 5-year-olds who have not attended school this year. Our hope is that the preschools, libraries, doctor’s offices, churches, dentist offices, or others who have access to these children will step forward to join us in helping prepare our children for this important transition to kindergarten. We are grateful for the 29 organizations who have already registered so we can reach children between now and August.”
This project is a logical step for the United Way’s Success By 6 Council which supports the children in our community through early childhood education initiatives with a goal of improving the number of children “kindergarten-ready” upon entry to school.
If you are an organization that interfaces with children preparing to enter kindergarten next year, sign up as a distribution site at https://form.jotform.com/thcm/k-packs. If you have questions about the program, contact the project coordinator Renee Henry at [email protected].