N.C. invests in early childhood development

For immediate release
Media contact: Stephanie Skordas, Director of Marketing & Communications stephanies@getreadyguilford.org or 336.579.2977 ext. 2015

N.C. budget includes funding for Ready for School, Ready for Life

(November 22, 2021 — GREENSBORO, N.C.) The newly-signed North Carolina budget includes $1.2 million in funding for Ready for School, Ready for Life (Ready Ready) and its mission to build a connected, innovative system of care for Guilford County’s youngest children and their families.

“Every child deserves a great start,” said Ready Ready CEO Charrise Hart. “North Carolina’s investment in early childhood development is critical and we welcome the General Assembly’s confidence in Ready Ready. When we support children’s earliest years, infants grow into healthy, confident, and empathetic kids who are ready for school and life. That makes our communities, workforce, and economy stronger too.”

The science is clear that prenatal to age three is critical for lifelong health and development. That’s when a million new neural connections form in the brain every second. The social, emotional, physical, and cognitive capacities built in the first three years are important for success in school, the workplace, and the larger community. Early support prepares children for kindergarten and success in school by third grade – the best predictor of high school graduation and lifelong learning.

“Investing in early childhood shows the greatest returns in a community,” said Ryan Blackledge, chair of Ready Ready’s Legislative Action Subcommittee. This group worked with the High Point and Greensboro Chambers of Commerce to educate N.C. General Assembly members about the need for early childhood development in Guilford County. “Working with the Chambers of Commerce and our Guilford County delegation to educate other lawmakers on this legislation was so rewarding. The legislature’s support for Ready Ready’s mission to create population-level change will make a difference in thousands of children’s lives.”

As a backbone organization, Ready Ready works with proven programs and community partners to ensure Guilford County families get the resources and support they need for healthy child development. Starting prenatally, dedicated family advocates that we call Navigators, meet with families to understand their strengths, needs, and goals. Then we work together to make secure connections to services, resources, or support, eliminating gaps and providing a seamless experience for families.

About Ready for School, Ready for Life
Ready for School, Ready for Life is a collaborative effort to build a connected, innovative system of care for Guilford County’s youngest children and their families. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our focus is ensuring all children in Guilford County and their families get the resources they need for healthy development. We want every child born in Guilford County from 2021 and beyond to enter kindergarten developmentally on track. Learn more about our work and mission at www.getreadyguilford.org.

New resource for High Point families with young children

Ready for School, Ready for Life and the Housing Authority of the City of High Point open
a new interactive learning center.

(October 20, 2021 — GREENSBORO, N.C.) Ready for School, Ready for Life (Ready Ready) has partnered with the Housing Authority of the City of High Point (HPHA) to provide early childhood development resources to its residents. The Interactive Learning Center located at J.C. Morgan Community Center will open on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 1 p.m.

The Interactive Learning Center within the HPHA’s J.C. Morgan public housing community offers information on The Basics Guilford, five fun, free, science-based concepts that parents and caregivers can use to help their child’s healthy development.

“Working with the HPHA, we have transformed two rooms for families with young children themed around The Basics Guilford,” said Megan LeFaivre, Ready Ready’s literacy coordinator. “One of the rooms is for families with children ages 0-3, with soft play mats, age-appropriate toys, and beanbag chairs. The second is designed for families with children ages 3-5 and offers comfortable children’s furniture, books, and fun manipulatives.

Both rooms have meeting space for educational programs. Local organizations will provide programming on child development, literacy, parenting, and more. Families will be able to sign up for these learning opportunities through the HPHA’s Resident Services Department.

“We are excited to open the Interactive Learning Center to families at J.C. Morgan Courts,” said Angela McGill, HPHA’s CEO. “Creating an environment to help families with young children is critical to their emotional, physical, and cognitive well-being. It supports our mission and Ready Ready has been a dynamic partner!”

“We are thankful for the partnership with Ready Ready and their assistance with creating a designated area for families to be able to interact with their children. The future is bright, and this learning center will be an early aid in our youth’s development,” said Charity Bunting, HPHA’s board chair.

Want to go?

What:               HPHA’s Interactive Learning Center ribbon-cutting
Where:             J.C. Morgan Community Center
501 Anaheim Street, High Point, N.C., 27260

Date:                Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Time:               1:00 p.m.

The media is invited to attend the ribbon-cutting and tour the new center.