Building Economic Prosperity through Early Childhood Education
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s economic development plan identifies early childhood education as integral to our community’s long-term economic success. Yet, results from the fall 2013 Brigance Kindergarten Screen indicate that only 52% of children entering kindergarten in Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) were “kindergarten ready” – and there is a marked decrease in readiness among children who live in the area west of Ninth Street. Specifically, in ZIP code 40210, encompassing portions of the California, Park Hill and Algonquin neighborhoods, only 35% of children were kindergarten ready.
The goal of Early Education 40210 is to increase early childhood education, specifically in the 40210 ZIP code area. This place-based effort will serve as a model for progress toward the community-wide kindergarten readiness goal of 77% by 2020.
The Bingham Fellows will implement a program that increases kindergarten readiness of children residing in the 40210 ZIP code with a 5% increase in kindergarten readiness scores according to the Brigance Kindergarten Screen by 2016.
Partners include Metro United Way, JCPS and the Louisville Free Public Library.
The long-term vision is to replicate the success in 40210 to other areas, integrating focused programming into the organizational mission and day-to-day operations of key community stakeholders.
Key Outcomes of the Project
Research shows that interventions aimed at engaging parents in school readiness activities lead to positive academic outcomes. Specific focus areas include:
- Expand Metro United Way Parent Cafés with ongoing use of the child development tool Ages and Stages.
- Collaborate with Louisville Free Public Library’s “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program.
- Provide front yard libraries within 40210 to create easy access for family reading.
- Expand the distribution of kindergarten readiness kits that prepare children for kindergarten in 40210.
- Support expansion of kindergarten readiness best practices to childcare providers in 40210.