(Greensboro, N.C., May 12, 2022) – Ready for School, Ready for Life (Ready Ready) is honored to receive a $25,000 grant from the Lincoln Financial Foundation to promote early literacy and kindergarten readiness for Guilford County children.
The work accomplished through the Lincoln Financial Foundation has never been more important. Kindergarten readiness continues to decline in Guilford County. In 2018-19 40% of all Guilford County kindergarteners met expected language and literacy skills at the beginning of the year. In 2021-22 just 27% of all Guilford County kindergarteners were considered proficient in those skills.
“The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant gaps in learning, and learning loss will continue to have a dramatic impact,” said Charrise Hart, Ready Ready’s chief executive officer. “The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is more important than ever. Through our partnership with Lincoln Financial Foundation, Ready Ready will continue its efforts to support and equip our youngest learners with the tools and skills necessary to become successful readers by the end of third grade.”
Reading on grade level by third grade is an early indicator for future success such as high school graduation and entering the workforce. Ready Ready’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading includes three components.
· The Basics Guilford: The Basics is a messaging tool to promote early language and literacy development. Ready Ready staff members have trained more than 600 adults focused on early literacy using the Basics Guilford.
· Active Reading: Active Reading is a framework to build language and literacy skills with toddlers, preschoolers, and beyond. Since the inception of Active Reading, Ready Ready has trained more than 1,000 adults in Guilford County.
· Book distribution: Ready Ready has partnered with organizations like BackPack Beginnings to deliver more than 7,000 books to young children in Guilford County.
The Lincoln Financial Foundation has a focus on human services, education, and financial wellness. “Our education focus area supports organizations that help students reach their learning potential and prepare them for critical transitions in their education,” said Nancy Rogers, senior vice president of corporate responsibility, and president of the Lincoln Financial Foundation. “We fund programs that strengthen critical learning skills, improve academic performance, and prepare students for college and careers.”
Ready Ready’s mission is to create a connected, innovative system of care for Guilford County’s youngest children and their families. It is a long-term effort aimed at population-level change. The first phase has focused on infants and toddlers to ensure all Guilford County families receive the support and resources they need for social-emotional, physical, language/communication, cognitive, and learning development. The second phase, which launches this year, focuses on children ages three to five.
Media contact: Stephanie Skordas, Director of Marketing and Communications