What an incredible day! UPS, located in Stratford, delivered close to six-hundred children’s books to Optimus Health Care as a result of the Dr. Jim Crispino Book Challenge. This year, UPS staff started their spring cleaning quite early as they United Way operates successful programs like Born Learning to encourage parents and educators to participate fully and in positive ways during a child's earliest learning stages. By raising awareness, providing educational material, and engaging in direct action with grassroots organizations, these initiatives help children develop the required kindergarten readiness, and prepare parents for this important period of development. Along with reading, writing, and counting, programs that encourage kindergarten readiness also focus on social development. Children entering their first years of regular schooling have to be prepared to interact with other children, control themselves, and cooperate with their peers. Skills like these cannot be learned until children take their first steps into kindergarten. Programs provide children with opportunities to play and learn with other kids outside of a school environment. While it's easy to assume that every child is ready for kindergarten when they reach a certain age, there are important factors to consider, such as their academic ability and emotional maturity. Kindergarten readiness can be nurtured in every child through positive interaction with parents and other children. With the understanding that the earliest years of childhood education are critical in establishing later success, United Way is dedicated to partnering with positive community initiatives.