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The Southington Citizen — Friday, October 5, 2012

Southington Early Childhood Collaborative receives grant

The Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington and its Family Resource Center has begun the next phase of a comprehensive effort to ensure that Southington’s children are prepared to enter kindergarten ready to learn and thrive. A $25,000 grant from the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund through the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain will allow development of a multifaceted plan for Southington that involves everyone who has an impact on school readiness for the town’s young children.

“For the past several years, under an initial Graustein Memorial Fund grant, ECCS has focused on improving young children’s readiness to learn through the training programs we’ve provided to home day care providers, child care providers, preschool teachers and others,” said Krista Pringle, director of Southington’s Family Resource Center. “While these efforts have been successful, we know that we are also missing the input and involvement of key groups.” Southington’s two-year planning process aims to



children go to kindergarten ready to learn. The plan will help make clear to all involved what the challenges are and what the town needs to do to promote success. Based on planning efforts for Year 1, ECCS will apply for follow-on funding to the Graustein Memorial Fund for Year 2 of the Discovery Initiative. “The Community Foundation is very excited for this next stage of ECCS’s development,” said Jim Williamson, CFGNB president. “It fits perfectly with the foundation’s own commitment to early childhood development, called First Years First, and matches our new Strategic Plan’s mandate for more active commu-


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reach as many sectors of Southington’s community as possible, from parents, grandparents and other family caregivers, to town government, fire and police departments and public health employees, to name a few. ECCS also plans to meet with other communities that have received Discovery Grants to learn how they have developed school readiness programs. An initial report on the state of Southington’s children will be released in November; focus groups in the community will begin this fall. Over the next two years, ECCS will create a sustainable, results-based plan that will help all Southington’s

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nity leadership on key issues.” “We now know that kindergarten is a critical path to learning and an early predictor of success,” Pringle said. “Southington’s Discovery Initiative is about helping our community understand why children 2 and 3 years old need to be prepared to enter kindergarten ready to learn, and defining how the entire community will help them get there.” “The generous support we have received from the CFGNB and the Graustein Fund will allow us to move conversation to practice,” said Joseph V. Erardi, superintendent of Southington schools. “A very hard working committee will now have the ability to extend a much greater influence on school readiness. In partnership with our schools, I am certain that this initiative will be a winning formula for children.” Submitted by the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain

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10-05-2012 The Southington Citizen  

10-05-2012 The Southington Citizen

10-05-2012 The Southington Citizen  

10-05-2012 The Southington Citizen