Two programs’ materials are ready for distribution in the 2017-2018 school year
Summit Education Initiative (SEI) sends much gratitude to the employees of Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems for preparing 3,140 total 16 For Success kits and Key Steps to Reading Success kits with SEI staff on June 21 at Quaker Station. United Way of Summit County helped coordinate the effort through its annual United Way Day of Action.
SEI intends to distribute both collections of kits within the 2017-2018 academic year. Not only did United Way of Summit County’s Day of Action provide an opportunity for local employees to volunteer, but it also provided SEI with the necessary manpower to complete the task at hand in as little time as possible.
“The Meggitt team was awesome!” says Derran Wimer, SEI’s executive director. “This is a massive project for our small SEI staff. The enthusiastic army of volunteers swooped in for the day and completed all of this work with energy and smiles. It was terrific.”
All 50+ Meggitt employees had the opportunity to learn more about SEI and our work during Day of Action. SEI staff explained the kits’ materials, as well as how they help children learn important skills through family engagement and play.
“The kits volunteers packed will help the children of Summit County be better prepared for school success,” Wimer adds.
The Key Steps to Reading Success program officially kicked off in 2016 – after its successful pilot year. A few thousand more 16 for Success kits have reached families throughout Summit County in recent years.
Each 16 For Success kit includes the following items:
- High-quality children’s book
- Kindergarten readiness activity book
- 16 For Success tip card, which lists skills that represent the foundation for school success
- 16 For Success library reading list to help parents find “just right” books for children
- A pre-sharpened pencil
- A box of crayons
- The 16 For Success Game, which reinforces key skills for kindergarten readiness
The concept and purpose behind this kindergarten readiness kit grew from the development of the Summit County Transition Skills Summary (TSS), an observation tool used to capture a child’s progress in five developmental areas using 47 key developmental skills. Once SEI determined 16 of those 47 skills were predictive of success in kindergarten and beyond, the 16 For Success kit was born.
“The 16 For Success kits give families activities to work on with their children after they leave preschool and before they enter kindergarten,” says Laura DiCola, early childhood strategy leader at SEI. “The activities are designed to encourage playful interactions between children and their parents. The board game, for example, may be adapted to practice building several skills in different ways.”
Because the kit materials require proper explanation in order to effectively help increase kindergarten readiness, SEI hosts training sessions for organizations interested in distributing the kits to parents of children they serve. Representatives from those organizations then train parents to use the kit’s materials with their children.
“We partner with programs and agencies who distribute the kits so that we can measure the impact of their work on kindergarten readiness,” says SEI’s Senior Research Associate Dr. Matthew Deevers.
In spring 2017, SEI hosted five 16 For Success kit training sessions, including one in Hudson. More than 30 organizations participated in a training session, and together, they distributed 2,280 kits.
For more information about kindergarten readiness in Summit County, visit our website here.