Where is Building Our Future Now?
Building Our Future is focusing on getting Kenosha County’s children ready for school. We have a Kindergarten Readiness Network that has two work teams: Ready Family and Ready Community.
Why Getting Ready for School?
Having our youth ready for school benefits both the children and the community. Wichita State University found students from “economically disadvantaged homes who received high quality, early education” had greater state test scores for 4th grade reading and math than a similar group of students in a local school system who were not involved in the same early childhood education. A 2016 study from the University of Chicago and University of Southern California also found when a community invests $1 in early childhood, specifically for disadvantaged youth, an estimated $7.30 is returned.
How Do Youth Get Ready For School?
Getting ready for school starts early. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website provides milestones and tips to help parents keep their children on track. For example, a milestone for a three-year-old is acknowledging a friend by name. Keep in mind, every child is different and will get ready for school in their own way.
What Is the Kindergarten Readiness Network?
It is made of individuals in the community who are focusing on engaging the community and determining how we can support families in preparing their children for kindergarten.
What Does the Kindergarten Readiness Network Do?
It is committed to collaborating, using data, connect families to the resources they need, and identifying developmentally appropriate practices to ensure children and families are ready for kindergarten.
How Can You Join the Work Building Our Future is Doing?
Email us and visit our website.
Community Bright Spot
The Even Start Family Literacy Program began in 2001 and is currently run by Kenosha Unified School District. Hansel Lugo, Even Start Program Liaison, shared that the program focuses on parent education that emphasizes developing English skills, early childhood, home visits and interactive learning activities to help parents lead as examples for their children while they learn & grow together. Even Start is open to individuals with children ages 0-5, as well as individuals looking to strengthen their English skills, shares Lugo. Current classes are at the Brass Community School, 6400 15th Ave. The beginner-level meets on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the intermediate/advanced-level group meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you are interested in learning more about the Even Start Family Literacy Program, please contact Hansel Lugo at 262-359-8051 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article written by Marley Uran
University of Wisconsin Parkside
Published by the Kenosha News
The future of a community depends on the success of its youth, and Kenosha County is dedicated to ensuring that our community succeeds.
In Kenosha County, there are over 100 organizations emphasizing the development of the individuals in the community by focusing on skills such as reading and math. These educational programs work diligently to prepare our youth for their future careers; however Kenosha County is still struggling in many areas.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Forward Exam, a state assessment, from the 2015-2016 school year found only 47% of 3rd Graders are reading proficient and 30% of 8th graders are math proficient.
StriveTogether, the national partnership and model for Building Our Future, has found that students who perform well in 3rd-grade reading and 8th-grade math typically have a more successful academic career.
In 2015, the United States Census Bureau also found while 90.3% of Kenosha County residents had received a high-school diploma, only 34.5% have received an associate’s degree or more, according to their Quickfacts Data & 2015 ACS 5-Year Survey.
The advanced manufacturing jobs most frequently coming to Kenosha County will require advanced education skills.
Building Our Future focuses on the idea that communities are often "program rich and system poor,” meaning they often have excellent programs, but need to find a more efficient way to align these programs to realize their full potential. Our goal is to align all sectors in Kenosha County around cradle-to-career success for all children.
StriveTogether was created for better outcomes through community empowerment. The StriveTogether model has shown that, when communities follow this philosophy and focus together on the critical outcomes and indicators that impact a student’s future success, the partnership’s reach can be significantly increased, measured, and scaled.
When a community has a higher rate of educational success, it thrives. A highly employed and engaged workforce lowers a community’s tax burden, provides innovation and creativity, bringing with it more job opportunities and economic success.
Imagine Kenosha County as a place where the community unites, students succeed, and everyone prospers. The future of the Kenosha County community depends on us, the community members. Let’s build our future together. To learn more and share your thoughts, visit buildingourfuturekc.org.
Connect With Us at Harborfest
Building Our Future will be at Harborfest ’17 hosted by Leeward Business Advisors!
Harborfest is an annual event where community organizations from Kenosha and Racine come together to share what they have been working on, their impact on the community and ways you can be involved. There will also be food and music to enjoy.
The event will be held on Thursday, September 21st of 2017 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Festival Hall, 5 5th St. Racine, WI 53403. Admission is free, but registration is required. If you would like to attend, please register at LeewardBA.com.
We hope to see you there!