"By changing the way parents interact with their children daily around language and literacy, we will prepare children for lifelong success. And, by changing the way primary care physicians are trained, will create a whole new generation of medical providers addressing the social determinants of health and making the healthy development of children a priority, to help build secure families and strong communities."
In this Focus on Forsyth, EdNC dug into the Reach Out and Read model of partnering with medical facilities to make books a fundamental part of every child's periodic well visits from infancy to age five.
It's an impactful national program brought to nine sites in the Forsyth community with the support of Smart Start of Forsyth County, another Great Expectations grantee.
"I understand we need to listen collectively to the parents in Forsyth County, so that together we can find ways to best prepare children to succeed in school... We’re eager to hear what parents say they need and what they bring to the table, before we prescribe solutions. We also have to listen to what the whole community needs and take stock of the good work being done by so many for our children. This helps us identify what’s working, spot gaps or redundancies in services, and stimulate solutions."
"This new round of funding for the Trust's Great Expectations initiative will continue its commitment to early childhood development but with a more nuanced focus, driven by a months-long effort to better understand the community's needs and capacity."
"First, we must implement a comprehensive, coordinated system that ensures accountability and alignment of birth through age 8 programs that put children on the path to reading proficiency.
Second, we must develop data systems that follow children’s progress and allow for early interventions to keep children progressing toward literacy in third grade.
Third, we must expand access to NC Pre-K – our high-quality pre-K program for four-year-olds – to give more of our children an opportunity to achieve reading proficiency by third grade.
No state has implemented all of the recommendations proposed by the Business Roundtable. We want North Carolina to be the first. I and my fellow North Carolina CEOs are committed to improving early childhood literacy. It is essential to the children of North Carolina, to North Carolina businesses, and to our state’s economy."
In community recommendations in education, health, housing, hunger/food insecurity, and jobs/workforce, Mayor Allen Joines and this group of cross-sector community leaders of the shared their final thoughts on the needs of the county's underserved.
Governor Roy Cooper has set a path to raise teacher pay in North Carolina to the national average in five years. The gap today is nearly $9,000, according to the National Education Association. Average pay for North Carolina teachers is $49,837. The national average is $58,743.
Practitioners, policymakers, business leaders, researchers, and philanthropists collaborated to present what a successful community-wide effort to support families with children birth-to-five could look like in Child Trends' recent publication.
"Several in The Business Roundtable emphasized the need for higher enrollment in NC Pre-K, the state’s program for at-risk 4-year-olds, while connecting improved elementary school literacy to successful adult employment."