What is Every Child Ready Duluth all about?
Children can’t get themselves school ready. They rely on their families to help them develop healthy relationships, build necessary social and emotional skills, and to encourage their curiosity and creativity. They need a strong education system that connects with, responds to, and supports them and their families. A community that values prioritizes and advocates for school readiness helps children and families to thrive. Together, these concentric rings of support—family, education, and community—can help Duluth’s children become school-ready. The Every Child Ready Duluth (ECRD) initiative provides an opportunity to help the whole city of Duluth understand school readiness and embrace it as a priority for a healthy community. Many local organizations are already providing important services and resources to improve school readiness and ECRD hopes to increase communication and collaboration between groups to create a more equitable and interconnected system of early childhood care, education, and support.
What is School Readiness?
School readiness is more than just knowing your ABCs and 123’s—those are just part of what’s needed. There are many different factors that affect a child’s readiness, starting at birth, but there is no perfect formula to know when a child is ready for kindergarten. We do know that school ready children need:
- To be safe, secure, healthy, and have their basic needs met
- Secure attachments and positive, supportive relationships with adults
- Opportunities to develop strong social and emotional skills
- Opportunities to develop skills and knowledge such as early literacy, number sense, and other cognitive skills and to learn these through play
- Confidence in their inherent worth and the value of their unique background and abilities
In order to address these varied aspects of school readiness, it will take a coordinated community effort that provides support and educational opportunities for parents and caregivers and their children from birth to kindergarten. The ECRD initiative is collaborating with community partners and developing a coalition to help bridge the gaps in school readiness throughout Duluth. The collective planning process has involved organizations, individuals, and businesses already working to educate, care for, and support young children in Duluth. We are creating 4 Action Teams: Ready Community, Ready Education System, and Early Childhood Educators, Ready Families and Caregivers, and Ready Child.
Why Does School-Readiness Matter?
The consequences for those children who are not school ready can be staggering: lower-income over their lifetimes, poorer health for themselves and their children, and reduced civic engagement. Research shows that improvement in early school readiness supports can have a significant impact, improving children’s life outcomes and helping close the opportunity gap. Investing in early childhood benefits an entire community not only socially but economically too.
Collaborate with Us!
Want to get involved? You can join one of our Action Teams to collaborate on the needs of children and their families. Not ready to commit to an Action Team, but want to stay engaged? Sign up for our newsletter to receive regular updates about ECRD and partner activities and opportunities across Duluth. Email Carmella Hatch (email@example.com) to collaborate with us.
Carmella Hatch, Early Literacy Librarian
(218) 730-4222, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lynn Schwarzkopf, Early Literacy Library Technician
(218) 730-4222, email@example.com
Sue Schumacher, Youth Services & Branch Library Supervisor
(218) 730-4219, firstname.lastname@example.org