Date: Wednesday February 2, 2011
From: Twin County United Way
Subject: Children's Project Focused on Kindergarten Readiness
Release: For Immediate Release
Twin County United Way in Lewiston and Clarkston is again leading a collaborative effort with its second annual Children's Project Initiative, which will take place this summer.
The mission of the Children's Project Initiative is to bring the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley together and ensure every child has the opportunity to thrive physically, mentally, and socially. The project helps ready children so they can be successful in kindergarten and develop ongoing strategies to keep them ahead of the curve.
Last year was the first year of the Initiative, which focused on parenting and childcare skills, along with preparing children for kindergarten. Twin County United Way partnered with Community Action Partnership, the Lewiston and Clarkston School Districts, Lewis-Clark Early Head Start, Washington-Idaho Volunteer Center, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lewis-Clark Valley.
The Children's Project Initiative is broken down into three areas - the Parenting Project, Childcare Project, and Kindergarten Project. Research shows that children who have quality early learning opportunities and experience are 49 percent more likely to graduate from high school. The same research also shows that early learning is an investment in reducing juvenile crime, poverty, and more. After the first year, follow-up data was collected and revealed that the Initiative was a huge success.
The Parenting Project helps equip parents of young children with the skills they need to become an engaged and effective family. The project resulted in a 30 percent increase in the amount of reading parents did with their children and 77 percent of the participants adjusted their discipline style to use positive words.
The Childcare Project offered in-home and large childcare facilities along with their employees the tools necessary to provide a comprehensive learning environment for the children they serve on a daily basis. This project resulted in 75 percent of the participants feeling more equipped to help children be prepared for school.
Finally, the Kindergarten Project focused on kindergarten readiness. 80 percent of the participating children increased their letter recognition and 75 percent successfully learned and followed school routines. Also, 50 percent of the participants achieved an increase in positive behavior. Certified teachers in the Lewiston and Clarkston School Districts were the instructors for the Kindergarten Project and were paid by stipends.
Last year, the Kindergarten Project was held at Highland Elementary in Clarkston and at the Orchards branch of the Boys & Girls Club of the Lewis-Clark Valley.
The collaborating organizations recently met to discuss this year's project, which will likely need a budget of $20,000, the same amount as last year.
Anyone wanting to Give, Advocate, or Volunteer time to the Children's Project Initiative can do so by contacting the Twin County United Way office at (208) 743-6594 or www.tcuw.org.