After a successful inaugural run at H. W. Wilkey Elementary School, the United Way Born Learning Academy has expanded with their recent launch of seven new academy locations, including Warren P. Lawler Elementary School.
The academy includes a series of six free worships held in local schools, focusing on building relationships, building your child’s language skills, nutrition and health, how children learn, and routines and learning on the go.
The programs include a family-friendly meal, prizes, and fun hands-on activities, while providing caregivers with “practical, user-friendly ideas to turn everyday activities into learning moments,” according to a recent press release from United Way.
Caregivers can rest assured that they are getting current and reliable information, knowing that the curriculum for the program was created and organized by early childhood faculty at Northern Kentucky University, and the workshops are led by trained professionals – usually teachers, principals or other school staffers.
While dates have not yet been established for Wilkey’s Born Learning Academy programming this year, Lawler’s program dates are Sept. 15, Oct. 13, Nov. 10, Dec. 8, Jan. 12, Feb. 9, March 8, and a graduation will be held on April 12. Each session is set to run from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.
“United Way strives to meet parents where they are,” said United Way of Central Kentucky President and CEO Megan Stith. “That’s the philosophy of the United Way Born Learning initiative, which has helped more than 15 million parents understand how to use everyday moments as learning opportunities. We are proud to have United Way Born Learning Academies available throughout our region to provide caregivers with free opportunities to help prepare their children for success in school and life.”
Stith explained that recent data from the Kentucky Governor’s Office showed 55 percent of Grayson County children were deemed “not ready” when entering kindergarten – five percent higher than the already alarming statewide rate of 50 percent.
Furthermore, Stith says that children from low-income families often begin school already far behind, with research showing that these children are less likely to be read to or spoken to regularly or to have access to books, literacy-rich environments, high-quality early care, and pre-kindergarten programs.As a consequence, she explains that these children are more likely to drop out of school, become a teen parent, be placed in special education, or be arrested for a violent crime.
“Prioritizing early childhood education makes good business sense for the long-term stability of our region,” said Stith. “Research has found that every dollar invested in quality early childhood programming saves $7 in future costs. Since United Way of Central Kentucky believes in preventing problems before they start, preschool education provides the powerful return on investment our community deserves.”
For more information on local programs contact Barbara Allen (Lawler Born Learning Academy) or Babbette Stiles (Wilkey Born Learning Academy) or visit www.unitedwayck.org/united-way-born-learning-academies-0.
Reach Brittany Wise at 270-259-9622 ext. 2014.