Success By 6 focuses on literacy, child care and parentingWritten by Lori Golaszewski | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Helping youngsters develop the necessary skills to succeed in school is the focus of the early childhood initiative Success By 6.
A partnership of United Way of Greater Toledo and the Lucas County Family Council, Success By 6 assists children from birth through age 6 with developing social and emotional skills and an interest in learning that will prepare them for kindergarten, said Kristi Hannan, a Success By 6 spokeswoman with the Lucas County Family Council.
“Our focus is school readiness, and it’s not just your ABC’s and tying your shoes and being able to write your name,” Hannan said. “We’re also very concerned about children’s social skills coming into school and their emotional readiness.
“Local and national surveys have found that kindergarten teachers say that a lot of kindergarten kids who show up for the first time in their classrooms aren’t ready to learn and succeed, not only in academic skills, but also in things like paying attention and getting along with their peers and being able to stay with a task over time. If you don’t have those social and emotional skills, you really have a difficult time acquiring those more academic skills.”
Success By 6 also focuses on early literacy, quality child care and parenting, Hannan said.
Success By 6 is not a program, Hannan noted, because it doesn’t offer specific services nor does it have clients. Rather, it is a “collaborative planning body” that brings together parents, child and family professionals, and community leaders to “plan how best to meet the needs of young children from birth through age 6,” she said.
“We want to get every child off to the best start in life, regardless of where they live or how they were born or what their family’s income is,” Hannan said.
Success By 6 utilizes the national Born Learning campaign to raise community awareness about early childhood development and opportunities for early learning, she said. The Born Learning materials include Kid Basics, a set of laminated cards that provide examples on how everyday moments with little ones can become teachable moments, Hannan said.
“There are tips for how to do grocery shopping with young kids in ways that promote learning, and promoting learning while doing laundry,” Hannan said. “Born Learning breaks it down into everybody has to do laundry and change their child’s diapers. Use those routines and make them into learning moments and moments for nurturing and caring and loving. It makes that message available to anybody.”
Hannan said children who are exposed to early learning experiences “have a head start on their peers who may not have had those rich social and emotional learning experiences in their first years.
“We’re really trying to close that gap and keep that gap from widening as the child goes throughout the school years.”