Our Focus on Childhood Success
We all know that a good education is essential to success in life. During the early years of childhood--which includes time spent at home with parents, in daycare, and in preschool programs--children are developing the primary skills that form the foundation of reading, counting, and social interaction. A child's vocabulary, as early as age three, can predict third-grade reading levels. Children not reading at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.
The academic success of children in later years depends heavily upon their kindergarten readiness. The first few years of education and preparedness are the most crucial to establishing a solid foundation from which children can adapt to school systems and learn successfully.
According to Ohio Department of Education data, in Medina County, Cloverleaf School District struggles with the lowest rates for kindergarten readiness: 17.7% are emerging (skills are just beginning) and 42% are approaching (skills partially evident); Medina City School District is second at 17.4% emerging and 33.6% approaching; Brunswick School District is third with 12.8% emerging and 36% appoaching.
United Way of Medina County is investing in programs to help ensure our kindergartners show up for the first day of school well-prepared to learn. United Way is also investing in the Garfield Elementary Wrap-Around School model to help support students and their families by removing barriers to academic success.
Our Early Childhood Development goals are:
- Promote and increase early childhood literacy and school success
- Address emotional and social barriers to learning
- Provide wrap-around support services to students and their families
2018 Investments: $200,500
Child Guidance and Family Solutions' Toddlers and Preschoolers Succeeding--Assists at-risk children from falling behind academically as a result of poor social skills. The program evaluates, supports, and enhances the social well-being of children in childcare centers by providing training and on-site support to preschool teachers.
OhioGuidestone's Early Childhood Mental Health Program--Works directly on-site with childcare centers and preschool programs to train teachers how to create a positive learning environment while managing difficult behaviors. Therapists also work with parents in the home as needed.
Summer Reinforcement Program--Provides a five-week academic remediation program in a classroom setting for ages 3 to 11 years. Emphasis is placed on retaining reading and math skills over the summer months in order to prevent 'summer slide', as well as speech therapy.
Feeding Medina County's Weekender Program--Provides bags of food to help sustain students' food resources over the weekend. Families that qualify for free or reduced lunch are eligible to receive this service free of charge.