The first day of Kindergarten is one of the most exciting days of a child’s life. But if they’re not ready, it can be the first day of a long road. Studies show 80 percent of a child’s brain develops by age three. So it’s critical to give young children a strong foundation for learning. Our bilingual School Readiness Kit, which is filled with books, games, and developmental activities, gives parents the tools they need to prepare their children for kindergarten.
Going to school with an empty stomach sure makes it hard to learn; yet one in four Arizona students start class without a proper meal, especially on Mondays. Our WeekEnd Hunger Backpacks, a supplemental nutrition program, provides students with seven extra meals to get them through the weekend where food may not be available at home.
We all have dreams, but for some local youth, the road to realizing those dreams is especially challenging. Some teens have to work to support their family, while others don’t always have a roof over their heads or food on the table. For these students, the dream of graduating from high school—let alone going to college—often seems impossible. Destination Graduation is an innovative program identifying students who are at risk of dropping out of high school for early intervention and support; specifically in the middle grades when intervention has the greatest long-term impact. It removes barriers to match the right student with the right intervention at the right time.
When kids receive the support they need to reach their full potential as adults, our community not only benefits but thrives.