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We know that the basis for success starts at birth and 90 percent of the brain’s growth occurs by age five. Children who enter school ready to learn are more apt to graduate high school, have higher incomes as adults and decrease their likelihood of participating in at-risk behaviors.
Yet in Larimer County, 22 percent of fourth graders are not reading at grade level. In addition, 17 percent of students don’t graduate high school on time.
Through partnership with the Early Childhood Council of Larimer County, all three Larimer County school districts, childcare providers, Colorado State University and other nonprofit groups, Smart Start for Kids is working to help children in our community get the early support they need to unlock their full potential.
Smart Start for Kids is a county-wide initiative to help children succeed in school, work and life through school readiness and early literacy efforts.
The school readiness component, called Be Ready Larimer County, is directed toward ensuring that every child enters school prepared to learn. The program aims to help parents and caregivers of young children better understand how to give their children the best possible start. This is achieved through educational materials, fairs that can help connect parents to resources and two Be Ready Navigators, or trained professionals who help navigate opportunities for at-risk families with children as it relates to early childhood and being ready for school.
The early literacy component, called Colorado Reading Corps, is a unique programs that works to help students achieve reading proficiency by the end of third grade. This program is currently in Thompson School District in Loveland, and in the 2014-15 school year, more than 20 tutors provided one-on-one reading support to more than 400 students, 93 percent of which showed academic progress.
Copyright 2015 United Way of Larimer County