When kids enter kindergarten ready to read, everyone wins.
This year, learning is being disrupted in a way none of us have ever dealt with before. From months of interrupted school-time to a stark disparity in access to and training on remote-learning technology, income-based learning gaps are growing wider and wider every day.
Even before the pandemic, summer reading loss was particularly acute for low-income students with middle-class students often showing reading improvements throughout the summer compared to their lower-income peers. While the coronavirus pandemic presents challenges for all students, the access to resources to address these challenges varies widely. Now more than ever it’s essential to supplement what schools can realistically do with the programs and tools necessary to ensure that all children have access to the resources they need to thrive and succeed.
At United Way, we’re one of the largest funders of afterschool and summer learning programs – supporting over 60 out-of-school time providers throughout the area. One of these programs is K-Ready Kids. Year after year, we bring together the community to compile thousands of learning kits for rising kindergarteners. We knew that this summer it would be more important than ever to get these supplies out into the community, so we took every precaution to ensure the safety of our families and volunteers – pivoting to a curbside pick up and virtual distribution. Despite the challenges, we were able to get kits to more than 1,700 local students – harnessing the collective power of our community to fundraise and collect supplies. We all had one goal in mind: making sure that all kindergarteners in the Seacoast have the chance to start strong, no matter the circumstances.
Here’s where the kits went:
Seacoast Community School
The Upper Room
Emmanuel Child Care Center
Stay & Play ELC
Reach for the Top Therapy Services
Dover Children’s Center
Idlehurst Elementary School
Garrison City Early Childhood Education Center
Community Action Partnership of Strafford County Head Start
Valley View Community School
Kingston Children’s Center
Rochester Child Care Center
Southern NH Services, Inc. Head Start
Rochester School District
Soon, they’ll be in the hands of the kids who need them most. No matter what the upcoming school year looks like 1,750 more kids will have the resources they need to learn and thrive. Your support goes such a long way, lending a hand to community-based organizations like these that work tirelessly to amplify students’ academic and social-emotional development, keep kids safe, and support working families. During these challenging times, programs like this need the community more than ever and we’re so happy ours stepped up to help.
Inspired to do more?
Among other needs, donations to United Way’s COVID-19 Family Support Fund will ensure early education and after-school programs sustain and expand their capacity so that parents and caregivers can get back to work and contribute to the economy, and help them to engage our most vulnerable students with the social and emotional supports they need as they return to school. When you donate to our COVID-19 Family Support Fund, 100% of your donation goes directly back into the community. Here are our funding priorities.
A major thanks to our K-Ready Kids sponsors for making this year’s distribution possible: