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Prepare children for academic success through programs and partnerships that strengthen families.

Background

Indiana’s high school graduation rate is unacceptably low — just 81.5 percent in 2008 (ranging from 42.3 percent in some schools to 96.5 percent in others). Research shows that this low rate can be traced, in part, to children who enter kindergarten physically and mentally unprepared to learn. The Indiana Department of Education has identified five domains of school readiness, which include improving children’s physical well-being, motor skills, and language development.
Our goal is to engage parents and their children with educational programs that improve nutrition, health, and literacy. In turn, these improvements will prepare children to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

Who We’ll Engage

We will engage parents and children, including those who face a variety of stress factors, including unstable finances, difficult family situations, language barriers, and mental and emotional health issues. We also will engage local preschools and childcare providers.

Intended Outcomes

Indiana children will be better prepared to succeed in kindergarten and beyond as a result of improved nutrition, health, and literacy. Subsequently, we expect increased academic performance of students at all levels of their K-12 careers.

Action Objectives

  • Deliver effective health and nutrition educational programs to a larger proportion of parents and children across Indiana. To do this, we will build on our successes with the Have a Healthy Baby, Raising Healthy Eaters, Family Nutrition Program, Parenting Counts, and other relevant programs.
  • Expand our reading programs to focus on language development and increased literacy by collaborating with Indiana Extension Homemakers, the Indiana 4-H program, and local educational/childcare providers.
  • Partner and collaborate with existing agencies and organizations to enhance our capacity to deliver educational resources.
  • Provide opportunities for families to learn together in interactive activities such as community walks, community gardens, and special events.

Success Indicators

  • Families will eat together more often and make healthier lifestyle choices.
  • Children will demonstrate increased literacy and language skills and improved communication with family members.
  • Children will have more books in their homes and parents will read to their children more.
  • Parents will be prepared to engage in their children’s education and develop skills that will help them create learning opportunities for their families.

Check this site regularly to check our progress.