Talk, Read & Play

School Readiness Initiative Great Success

FamilyIn Ashland County all newborns are going to be better prepared to go to Kindergarten with the “Talk, Read and Play… Together!” newborn bag. This is part of the early childhood school readiness initiative sponsored by United Way and the Family and Children First Council. This Community Impact Initiative was developed through a 2009 United Way needs assessment when the “top of the list” concern was that Ashland County children were not properly prepared to go to Kindergarten or Pre-Kindergarten from the KRA-L testing scores.

This county-wide need was statistically proven when 46% of five year olds preparing to go to Kindergarten in Ashland County were identified of needing “target instruction” and 17% needed “intensive instruction”. The US Department of Education has stated that the average kindergarten student has seen more than 5,000 hours of

Talk Read and Play book

television, having spent more time in front of a TV than it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Let’s go Ashland County… we need help educating our families on the importance of reading and preparing our young children for success in school. Become a volunteer to read and mentor kids in your school district. A quote from Frank A. Clark really says it all… “If you haven’t the time to help youngsters find the right way in life, somebody with more time will help them find the wrong way.” [pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]No other United Way in the country has their own professionally published early childhood learning book – but we do in Ashland County![/pullquote]

Thanks to the professional talents of Dr. Diane Karther, Robin Donatini, Terri Jewett and Sarah Wurster. These four caring educators wrote On Our Way to Talk, Read, and Play for United Way. We certainly didn’t have to go far for a publisher because Bookmasters, a local community partner, has been a part of this innovative book since the concept began. Thanks to our Co-Authors and BookMasters for making this early childhood reading book a reality and helping Ashland County better…much better!

Ashland County Babies Receive “Newborn Kit”

Newborn KitNow in our sixth year of distribution any parent of a newborn in Ashland County that completes an application and survey receives a “Newborn Learning Kit.” The application and kits are available at 20 various partners throughout Ashland County with the most popular distribution center being the Birthing Unit at Samaritan Regional Health System. Dr. Cindy Moseman of the Family and Consumer Science Department at Ashland University compiles the survey data to help direct the reading needs of Ashland County.

Thanks to our many community partners that have been a part of this early childhood initiative! Parents of a newborn that have not received a kit can contact the United Way office at 419-281-5551.