Born Learning Program Reaches Rural Pre-School Children

The Change Happens Foundation has awarded United Way of the CSRA with a project grant to provide outreach services to low-income families with preschool children in rural areas served by the organization.

By age 4, children who live below the poverty line in our community are 18 months behind what is normal for their age groups; by age 10 that gap is still present.  For children living in the poorest families, the gap is even larger.  By the time children from middle income families with well-educated parents are in 3rd grade, they know about 12,000 words.  Third grade children from low-income and homeless families with under-educated parents have a vocabulary of about 4,000 words, one-third as many words as middle income peers.

United Way of the CSRA feels one significant way to bridge this gap is through Born Learning. Born Learning is a public engagement campaign that helps parents, grandparents and caregivers explore ways to turn everyday moments into fun learning opportunities for children from birth through age 5.  The $5,000 grant will provide support for  awareness and distribution of a wide array of research-based education materials, along with community impact tools geared towards helping galvanize early learning techniques.

Children are born ready to learn and if parents, teachers and caregivers are provided with the educational tools that will help enhance and encourage early learning skills, all will benefit.  Joan Stoddard, United Way’s Community Building Coordinator stated, “The bottom line is to ensure children are learning early and ready to enter school when that time comes, which is a sustainable outcome.”  Mike Troxel, Vice President of Administration with the Foundation, congratulated United Way on being recognized for their innovative work in the field of education.

Rural counties to be served by the Born Learning Program are Columbia, McDuffie, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Emanuel Counties.  To learn about more about the Born Learning program, visit their website at www.bornlearning.org.