Author: Kathleen Mulroy
The Inland Northwest Community Foundation has awarded a Community Strategies Grant of $11,000 to the Panhandle Alliance for Education’s early childhood literacy program, READY! for Kindergarten. This grant will help to pay for the “tool kits” given to parents and grandparents who attend the free READY! workshops during the 2015-2016 school year.
The Inland Northwest Community Foundation has awarded more than $42 million in grants and scholarships throughout its 20-county region since 1974. The foundation’s mission is to foster vibrant and sustainable communities in the Inland Northwest. The INCF “accomplishes this by awarding grants to nonprofit organizations in order to provide critical human services, enrich education, arts and culture, promote economic and community development and to support our environment. We work with individuals, families and businesses to provide charitable benefits through 371 funds we manage with assets of approximately $76 million (as of June 30, 2013).
Brought to the Sandpoint area in 2008 by the Panhandle Alliance for Education, READY! for Kindergarten is a national program which promotes early childhood literacy through age-specific, interactive parent workshops. Trained instructors show parents, grandparents and other primary caregivers of children from birth to age five how to teach their young children the skills necessary for success in school. At the free workshops, parents receive a free take-home tool kit which includes high-quality educational toys, games and activities designed to improve their child’s literacy skills when used regularly during “play with a purpose.”
Data shows the READY! for Kindergarten program is effective in preparing young children for school success: In the Lake Pend Oreille School District, over 90 percent of the children whose parents attend two or more READY! workshops test at or above grade level at the beginning of kindergarten. Research shows that children who start ahead, stay ahead.
The Panhandle Alliance for Education is grateful for the Inland Northwest Community Foundation’s generous grant to the READY! program.