DID YOU KNOW that literacy development starts at birth?
- A baby’s brain forms 700 new neural connections per second!
DID YOU KNOW that 74% of children who struggle with reading in 3rd grade will continue to struggle in school?
- Amongst their peers, these children have a higher risk of not graduating from high school, and will have limited opportunities for employment.
That is why Berkshire United Way is working with the community to improve third grade reading proficiency to 90% by 2020.
Berkshire United Way is investing in early childhood strategies that build a strong pathway for children from birth to their first day of Kindergarten and beyond.
These strategies - early intervention, home visiting, early education and care, and family engagement - provide the greatest opportunity for success.
· 67% of children receiving early intervention services demonstrated improved social and emotional functioning
· In home visiting, programs reported that 63% (a 12% increase) of their parents are doing activities at home with their children and that 68% of the families using informational and educational resources (a 26% increase).
· In quality early childhood education, 96% of children are maintaining or progessing in language development.
Berkshire United Way also leads county-wide and regional coalitions to support this Birth to Five pathway using a collective impact approach. Each coalition has representatives from various sectors in the community – early education and care, public education, health, cultural, and business. The Early Childhood Impact Council, working in collaboration with Berkshire Compact, is a broader, county-wide effort that uses supportive data, advocacy, professional development, and marketing approaches to help reach our population goal of improving reading proficiency by 3rd Grade. Both Pittsfield Promise (central county) and Chapter One (south county) take a deeper dive into the pathway, helping and supporting children and families through activites that build awareness on the importance of early childhood development, resource coordination, and parent education.
If you have any questions or concerns, or are interested in giving your time, talent or gifts to the early childhood goal area, please contact Stephanie Adornetto, Coordinator of Early Childhood Development at (413) 442-6948 x22.