Area programs hope to see an increase in kindergarten readiness for Lower Shore Children through collaboration and support from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore’s Early Childhood Initiative grant program. The Foundation recently awarded $66,049 to local schools and day care centers serving children ages birth through five.
According to the 2017-2018 Maryland Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, only 45% of Maryland Kindergartners demonstrated readiness. Encompassing the areas of social foundations, language and literacy, math, and physical wellbeing and motor development, the testing identifies areas of focus to help children succeed. With less than half of students testing as prepared, The Community Foundation saw a need for grant funding which focused on early childhood education for the Lower Eastern Shore.
“When we ensure that all children are ready for kindergarten, we help to prepare them for a lifetime of learning,” states Erica Joseph, Community Foundation President. “The Community Foundation hopes the Lower Shore will start to see an increase in the Kindergarten Readiness numbers through increased grant funding and collaboration with area professionals and community leaders.”
Grant applicants to the program included a variety of public and non-public schools, universities, day care centers, and community churches in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. Grants were awarded to support the following programs:
Buckingham Elementary School will host “Learning Parties” where parents and children will engage in interactive experiences to learn school readiness skills. Each child takes home new books.
Little Lambs Learning Center will purchase InvestiGators Club curriculum kits for their preschool classes. The kits provide culturally rich, hands-on, inquiry-based learning fully aligned with the Maryland Framework for preschool students.
Pocomoke Elementary School will launch Family Math Camp for Young Learners—a series of evening events for families to engage in fun, interactive math-focused ac