MATT CRANE WITH THE FREE PRESS CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT
HUNTINGBURG -- Schools in Huntingburg will be getting a boost in funding to develop plans to strengthen kindergarten transitions.
The Free Press is reporting its part of a $25,000 Strong Start Community Grant. Huntingburg was one of just 15 communities in the state to receive the funding.
Southwest Dubois Schools, Color My World, a Kid’s Place and HUMingbird Day Care Ministry have all been listed as recipients of the grant money.
Officials hope the money will support the creation of locally-driven plans to ensure more Hoosier children move effectively into the kindergarten classroom, setting the stage for success in their first year of elementary school and beyond.
As a grant recipient, Southwest Dubois County School Corporation and A Kid’s Place, Color My World, and HUMmingbird Day Care Ministry have committed to developing and implementing kindergarten transition plans using specific criteria. That criteria, informed by national best practices and local innovation identified through the Strong Start for Kindergarten Prize competition, includes:
- Key stakeholder representation and public and private partnerships forged to support community participation
- Joint participation by early childhood education and K-12 stakeholders
- Engagement of early learning and kindergarten teachers through exposure opportunities and joint professional development
- Activities that engage families in the kindergarten transition planning process
- Supports for at-risk or vulnerable populations with a specific outcome goal
- Data use to set current level of kindergarten readiness and establish plan goals
“An increasing body of evidence suggests that effective kindergarten transitions can reduce academic fadeout, improve outcomes, encourage family involvement and allow children to navigate a significant period of adjustment,” said Early Learning Indiana CEO and President Maureen Weber. “By bringing all of the right stakeholders to the table and creating plans that leverage high-impact practices, communities can signal a genuine commitment to giving Hoosier children the best start possible in their elementary education journey, paving the way for future success.”
Indiana’s Preschool Development Grant, awarded to Indiana FSSA’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning in January 2019, supports a formal evaluation of the state’s birth-to-5 early childhood education programs and strategic planning to strengthen them. The Strong Start Community Grant builds upon these efforts.For more information on the Strong Start Community Grant, visit solutions.earlylearningin.org/strong-start-community-grant.