After five years of helping Delaware’s youngest learners and their families, there was much to celebrate Wednesday for the Delaware Readiness Teams. A statewide initiative aimed at helping children from birth through age eight get ready for school and life, the Delaware Readiness Teams celebrated the milestone while kicking off a slate of new initiatives Wednesday afternoon at the Dover Public Library. Governor John Carney delivered his gratitude during his keynote remarks, touching on the state’s commitment to early childhood education, literacy, and kindergarten readiness.
“We know that when children reach kindergarten ready to learn, they are more likely to succeed throughout their years in school,” Gov. Carney said. “That’s why the work being done by these grassroots, community-level Delaware Readiness Teams is so important. These teams are doing important outreach to families, helping coordinate health screenings, and preparing more of our youngest learners for kindergarten. Thank you to everyone involved for their leadership on this issue, which is critical to the future of our state.” Members of the early learning community shared milestones and accomplishments of the past five years, and unveiled new initiatives, including a new partnership with the Delaware Division of Libraries, funding from the Arsht-Cannon Fund to undergo outreach to Hispanic families, and the launch of a new kindergarten readiness campaign. “When students arrive to kindergarten ready to learn, it makes a world of difference,” says Jodie Daminger, a teacher at Shields Elementary School and member of the Cape Henlopen Readiness Team. “That’s why kindergarten readiness campaigns are so important—to support families as they learn to navigate the registration process and provide them with access to all the resources that are available. It’s encouraging to have so many partners state wide working together towards this common goal of connecting with our Delaware families.”
In just five years, the Readiness Teams have impacted thousands of Delaware families through events, newsletters, health and literacy initiatives, and more. And the celebration, a “gallery walk” highlighted the work and successes of individual teams from across Delaware. Efforts on display included a bookmobile from Cape Henlopen, an illustrated children’s book about getting ready for kindergarten in the Capital School District, plus parent conferences, community events, and more. Nineteen unique Readiness Teams are spread throughout the state, and each team targets specific community needs. Overall the teams work to prepare young children and their families for school and life. Each team is comprised of volunteers—ranging from parents, grandparents, guardians, teachers, college students, school nurses, health care providers, and members of faith based organizations—and more than 400 people participate in regular team meetings and events. Funders and partners include Nemours, PNC, the Arsht-Cannon Fund, the Delaware Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning, Prevent Child Abuse Delaware, and the Delaware Division of Public Health.
Contact: Diane Frentzel