Our Goal Areas: Helping youth and children achieve their potential.Children are nurtured and safe. Children (birth to age 5) enter school ready to learn and succeed. Children do well in school and graduate on time and are ready to succeed in post-secondary education and a career path. Our Current Education Partners Kindergarten ReadinessTo address the needs of young children who are not prepared for kindergarten United Way is working to increase early childhood literacy and kindergarten readiness programs in North idaho. These are evidenced based programs teaching parents how to help their children develop the basic school readiness tools-letters and sounds, math and reasoning and social and emotional skills. Our goal is to increase the percentage of kindergarteners entering school at grade level ready to learn.Statistics show that if children are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade, they are more likely to drop out of school and engage in negative activities such as drugs, alcohol and crime. Early literacy and math skills result in lower delinquency rates, higher graduation rates from high school and greater school and job competitiveness.By involving more parents and caregivers during these powerful learning years, United Way and it's Education Partners focus on Kindergarten Readiness will assist in attaining our goal of making sure our kids are nurtured and safe, and ready to learn and have equal chance of success in school, in our community, and in life. The School Readiness Calendar was designed by United Way as a tool to help parents and their child get ready for that special time - kindergarten. The calendar contains fun things for parents to do to "Make Every Day A Learning Day". In a partnership with the United Ways of the Pacific Northwest and the Boeing Company, who funded the project, United Way has made the calendar available through community libraries and school districts in the five northern counties. READY! for Kindergarten is an evidenced based program teaching parents how to help their children develop the basic school readiness tools: letters and sounds, math and reasoning and social and emotional skills. In Kootenai County, less than 60% of children enter kindergarten prepared. Thank you for being here today to help us prepare our youth, to ensure a vibrant community for years to come.