Mayor Allen Joines’ and the Poverty Thought Force announced its final report at a press conference: http://www.povertythoughtforce.com/final-report. Through exchanges with local and national anti-poverty advocates and experts, as well as the community, the report makes 56 specific recommendations across five thematic areas. Universal Pre-K is identified as one of the top three recommendations within the education theme.
Of particular note is the acknowledgement in the report Appendix recognizing Family Services’ role:
“A Universal Pre-K Initiative, convened by Family Services, is working toward this end. This builds on local Head Start programs, as well as work by several other local organizations. The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust (“KBR”), for example, launched Great Expectations in 2015 to help Forsyth County children enter kindergarten ready to succeed and leave set for success. KBR, United Way, Winston-Salem Foundation and others fund Forsyth Promise, which has established a Collaborative Action Network focusing on kindergarten readiness. With the support of Superintendent Beverly Emory, Project Impact is raising $45 million over six years to provide an additional 1200 children with early education. Another example is Strong@Home, a collaborative led by Family Services developing a comprehensive plan for early childhood education and family stability for 150 families with young children. A recent Duke University study of North Carolina’s Pre-K programs analyzed one million public school children born between 1988 and 2000, noting “Children enrolled in North Carolina’s early childhood programs performed better throughout elementary school, with gains lasting through fifth grade.”
As a Catalyst, Convener and Collaborator, Family Services is proud to work with agencies, organizations, businesses and individuals to create a sustainable community and a better future for all of us.