Education Initiative

Volunteer

UNITED WE PREPARE CHILDREN TO ENTER SCHOOL READY TO SUCCEED.

A child's early years, from birth until school age, are a unique period of growth and development- learning to walk and talk, beginning to think independently, understanding how to communicate, and learning about other people and emotions. All of these are critical early learning skills that build a foundation for successful future learning. Children learn best when they are engaged in loving, nurturing relationships, and their primary learning occurs through everyday experiences. Whether children are at home, with relatives or friends, or in child care, the quality of early experiences is key to later school success.

Why it Matters

  • 4,500+ children ages 0-5 in the Chippewa Valley live in households that struggle to make ends meet. (At or below the ALICE Threshold)
  • 48% of children coming from low-income homes are ready for school. (This is less than half!)
  • It is estimated that 2,300+ children in the Chippewa Valley living in low-income homes will not be ready to enter kindergarten.

What We Will Achieve

Children in the Chippewa Valley will enter school ready to succeed.

Key Tactics

Home Visiting

Children and families are supported right in their homes by an early childhood professional with a focus on healthy child development and empowering parents to be their child's most important teacher.

  • The Home Visiting Council of the Greater Chippewa Valley offers a community of practice for professionals that provide home visiting for families with children 0-5 years of age in the greater Chippewa Valley. This is a place for networking and sharing information and resources.

Group Connections

  • Play Groups offer the opportunity for families to come together to enjoy developmentally appropriate activities, connect with other parents and gain a better understanding of normative child development. Play Groups are offered in both urban and rural settings.
  • Parent Cafes offer a place for families to increase family strengths based on the Strengthening Families Protective Factors. The five protective factors are: parent resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need, and social & emotional competence of children.

Early Literacy

  • Reach Out & Read provides children's books at well child doctor visits. The doctor, as a trusted messenger, highlights the importance of reading and early literacy.
  • Talking is Teaching addresses word gap through public awareness, resource sharing, and community collaboration. 
  • Book Buddies connects volunteer readers to child care centers with a focus on reading at least 15 minutes with children.
  • "Read To Me" Book Month highlights the important connection between reading and early brain development by offering reading events in communities across the Chippewa Valley. Each child receives a book and early literacy activities. Community volunteers support this event by assembling the literacy kits and being "Literacy Champions" at the events. 
  • Born Learning Trails are found in 11 communities across the Chippewa Valley. Each trail has signs to engage families in activities. 

View Education Advisory Council