Author: Kathleen Mulroy
The Panhandle Alliance for Education is pleased to announce that Parkwood Business Properties of Coeur d’Alene has made a generous donation to READY! for Kindergarten, Sandpoint’s early childhood literacy program. The Panhandle Alliance’s Board President, David Slaughter, says, “READY! for Kindergarten encourages parents’ involvement with their child’s learning, beginning at birth. We are deeply grateful that Parkwood Business Properties is supporting this important program which helps so many children in our community.”
Parkwood Business Properties, a Coeur d’Alene-based developer of commercial properties, has recently broken ground on a major project here in Sandpoint. In partnership with Bonner General Health, a 48,000 square foot hospital extension facility, announced in 2013, will be used for hospital functions, patient services, home health, rehabilitation, education, a women’s health center and physicians’ office space.
Ryan Nipp, Partner with Parkwood Properties, emphasized, “Sandpoint is a very special town, and, consistent with our mission, we always make a long-term positive contribution to our communities. Supporting young families with the READY! for Kindergarten program in partnership with the Panhandle Alliance for Education speaks to our values and concern for education here in Idaho.”
READY! for Kindergarten is a national, research-based early childhood literacy program developed in conjunction with The Children’s Reading Foundation. In 2008, the Panhandle Alliance for Education chose the program – with the approval of the Lake Pend Oreille School District – with the goal of improving children’s literacy skills before they enter kindergarten. Data shows that children whose parents attend READY! workshops are much more likely to start school prepared to be successful learners.
The fall, winter and spring READY! for Kindergarten sessions in Sandpoint are offered free of charge to parents, grandparents and other caregivers of children from birth to age five. Free childcare is offered for children from 13 months to 11 years, provided by community and high school volunteers. The parent workshops are divided into age groups: Birth to one year; one to two years; two to three years; three to four years; and four to five years. The workshops are designed to “ramp up” as the child grows; parents can take up to 15 unique workshops during the first five years of their child’s life. The research-based curriculum is taught by experienced facilitators, most of whom are current or retired teachers. Parents receive educational toys, games and activities which are appropriate for each age level. READY! for Kindergarten attendees also receive a free monthly children’s book in the mail – until the child begins kindergarten – through the partnership of Panhandle Alliance for Education and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
The next session of READY! for Kindergarten will be held on Saturday, September 27, 2014. Pre-registration is required, so please register at www.readysandpoint.org, or by calling 208-263-7040 as soon as possible.
The Panhandle Alliance for Education is a nonprofit organization composed of local citizens, businesses and educators. The mission is “to promote excellence in education and broad-based community support for the Lake Pend Oreille School District. As an independent organization, we will create and sustain an endowment to provide resources in support of effective teaching, learning and school management.” Donations are distributed as a working pool of money used to fund teacher grants, READY! for Kindergarten and other educational programs. To learn more about PAFE, or to make an on-line donation, visit our Facebook page or go to the website – www.panhandlealliance.com. You may also call the Executive Director, Marcia Wilson, at 208-263-7040.