Kindergarten Readiness for Children in Georgia

Upfliting family engagement and services to promote child health

Successful adults grow from successful kids.

Words are power.

"Use your words," is a common refrain for teachers and parents trying to work with a child. But what if the child doesn't have the right words? How can they express themselves if they don't have the tools to do so?

Language proficiency at age 5 is the best indicator of reading proficiency at age 7. Reading proficiency at age 7 is the best indicator of high school graduation. This is regardless of poverty or parental education status.

In Georgia, 37% of 4th graders are reading below the National average for reading achievement.

The good news is that we do not need fancy programs or expensive interventions. All of us have the tools necessary to help kids get the language tools they need.

#1 Talk to children

#2 Read to children 15 minutes a day

Read on to learn how we can make these simple changes in our lives and how we can advocate for life readiness for all children.

Reading Fact Sheet

Check out this fact sheet and share it with your friends.

Read to children 15 minutes a day.

Move with your child 15 minutes a day (dance-party anyone?).

Talk to children. 

March is Reading Awareness Month

To highlight the importance of reading, and in celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, March has been recognized as National Reading Awareness Month by Read Aloud to amplify the importance of reading for every child and family.

Together with our partners - we are working on three things to celebrate a publicize reading with kids.

Book Drive

Our goal is to distribute 1000 books to kids in need via Reach Out and Read Georgia and Fulton County Library

Resource Directory

E-books, e-learning, and tips & tricks for kindergarten readiness.

Advocate

Official Reading Month recognition by the State of Georgia.
Long-term access to programs.

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Advocate

Georgia Reading Awareness Month

Together with our partners we are working with the Georgia General Assembly to get March recognized as Georgia Reading Awareness Month.

Long Term Change

It is critical for the state legislators to increase funding for early education programs that support low-income families. All children deserve to be served and receive the help they need to be kindergarten ready.

Parents are their children’s first teachers and play a critical role in child development prior to school entry. Unfortunately, when a parent is under chronic job, food, and/or housing stress, they have little time, energy, or resources to actively engage with their children. It can be difficult for low-income families to divide their attention towards promoting kindergarten readiness, when they may struggle to provide and keep a roof over their children’s heads. The adverse of affects of chronic poverty are linked to poor academic outcomes.

Simple engagement, such as reading and talking to a child, or participation in pre-K programs can significantly improve a child's chance for success.

20% of Georgia children live in poverty. Georgia has capcacity for only 15% of those children in Head Start

Early Childhood Daycare and Pre-K Programs are a win, win - nurturing children's development and enabling parents to work a steady job. These help break the cycle of poverty. In Georgia, low-income children that enrolled in preschool had a higher academic achievement and proficiency on 3rd grade test scores.

DECAL Head Start State Colloboration Office

Federal programs such as Georgia Head Start provide child-care, school readiness, and programs that promote cognitive, social and emotional development for children from low-income families.

Georgia Head Start Budget

The budget for the FY 2019 was $243 M enabling enrollment of a little over 24,000 participants. Approximately 160,000 Georgia children are living in poverty; however, it is estimated that only 15% of these children are being served due to funding limitations and enrollment caps.

Want to learn more? Check out this sources below! 

  • Sensitive periods in the development of the brain and behavior: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15509387/
  • Socioeconomic status and structural brain development: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2014.00276/full
  • Socioeconomic inequality and children’s brain development: https://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2016/10/socioeconomic-brain-development
  • Get Georgia Reading Campaign: https://getgeorgiareading.org/
  • Georgia Family Connection Partnernship: https://gafcp.org/

Partners