Early Learning and the Foundation for the Future
Florida’s future starts early and preparing our youngest students to learn establishes a foundation for future success. The Florida Chamber Foundation created the Business Alliance for Early Learning to raise awareness among business leaders of the importance of early learning in children ages 0-8.
Throughout Florida, many business and community leaders are partnering with their local schools and providing support through mentoring, volunteer activities and more. Below are examples of programs that are making a difference in schools throughout Florida. Some of these programs and promising practices may be opportunities for your company.
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Achieve Escambia is a collective impact partnership that brings together parents, educators, business owners, health providers, faith-based leaders, community organizers, residents, philanthropists, government employees, first responders (both civilian and military) and elected officials to significantly improve cradle to career outcomes. Achieve Escambia include dozens of partners from early learning through college and career training who come together with a single goal: improving the education outcomes and long-term career prospects for everyone Click here to learn more.
Location: Escambia County
Bosses for Babies
Nearly 200,000 children enter kindergarten each year in Florida and almost half of them are not “ready” to learn. This is a reality business leaders can contribute to changing–whether through community involvement, family-friendly practices in their business, or using their voices. Bosses for Babies is an initiative that brings together business champions for early childhood, highlighting the many ways companies can make an impact and inspiring others to take action. These Bosses understand that investing in young children and families is an investment both in their bottom line and in community prosperity. Click here to learn more.
Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
The Florida Grade-Level Reading Campaign (FGLRC) is a statewide movement, funded by Helios Education Foundation and focused on maximizing the efforts of communities and organizations working to ensure that Florida’s children are reading on grade level by the end of third grade. FGLRC engages communities, supports local efforts and provides strategic guidance to help promote school readiness and quality instruction, tackle chronic absence, and improve summer learning, as well as engage parents as their children’s first teacher. Click here to learn more.
Locations: Local Florida campaigns are established in Alachua County, Brevard County, Broward County, Charlotte County, City of Delray Beach, Desoto County, Escambia County, Flagler & Volusia County, Hillsborough County, Indian River County, City of Jacksonville/Duval County, Manatee County, Martin County, Miami-Dade County, City of Orlando/Orange County, Palm Beach County, Pinellas County, Sarasota County and St. Lucie County.
Florida Regional Student Success – Helios Education Foundation
In light of the widening academic achievement gaps between White students and their African-American and Latino peers, Helios Education Foundation has launched the Florida Regional Student Success Initiative, deploying four key strategies in three metropolitan regions of the state — Miami, Orlando and Tampa — which collectively represent the largest percentage of first-generation, low-income and minority student populations. This initiative is being deployed through four key strategies to ensure more underrepresented students are prepared to pursue and complete a postsecondary education and acquire the skills necessary to obtain high-demand, high-paying jobs. Those strategies are strategic investing, building and reforming systems, public and political will building, and collaborating and convening. These strategies are being implemented across the education continuum, starting with Early Grade Success, continuing through College and Career Readiness and on to Postsecondary Completion. Click here to learn more.
Location: Miami, Orlando, Tampa
Grow Up Great- PNC Bank
An early learning initiative to help children succeed. A $350 million bilingual initiative founded in 2004 by The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., PNC Grow Up Great® helps prepare children from birth to age five for success in school and life. Click here to learn more.
Growing Up Great
Growing Up Great is a new initiative which is designed to build a neighborhood focused educational pathway from birth to 5th grade. It is a collaboration that brings together families, preschools, elementary schools, out-of-school time providers and community partners to break down silos and think differently about the educational journey. Program objectives focus on understanding current educational pathways, increasing kindergarten readiness and advancing student and school achievement. Click here to learn more.
Location: Hillsborough County
The Learning Pavilion
The Learning Pavilion, formerly known as The Dick Howser Center for Childhood Services, is a smart-play preschool that strives to be inclusive for all children, and uses a play-based curriculum that emphasizes self worth, capability, and school readiness. Since 2010, The Learning Pavilion has partnered with Goodwill Big Bend. Goodwill provides TLP with administrative support and fundraising. In addition, business and community organizations come together to provide funding that is used for scholarship programs that help families dealing with unexpected financial issues, giving them the ability to cover a portion of the monthly fees, ensuring their children continue to stay enrolled and receive the care needed to thrive. Click here to learn more.
Nemours Reading BrightStart!
Location: BrightStart! Tools are being used 20 states including Florida
ReadingPals is a statewide volunteer-based literacy initiative that provides volunteer mentors for students from Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) to 3rd grade who may need extra help, utilizing one-on-one or small group settings. The ReadingPals program was designed by the Children’s Movement of Florida and administered through 17 United Ways — with the help of numerous community partners across the state. You can learn more about joining this statewide program and over 2,000 volunteers involved by clicking here.
Location: 26 counties via 17 local United Ways and other community partners, with opportunities in more than 200 schools and childcare centers around the state, all made possible thanks to Publix Charities.
Teen Trendsetters of Florida
Teen Trendsetters is a reading mentoring program for first, second, and third graders who are reading half a year or more behind their grade level. These struggling readers are assigned a teen mentor from middle and high school who meets with them weekly, and they work together to improve reading. The program also engages the mentees’ parents, who sign a contract agreeing to read with their child at least twice a week. To help encourage their continued learning at home with their parents, the mentees also receive a home library over the course of the school year as well as being given information if they want to improve their own literacy skills. Click here to learn more.
Location: 11 States Including Florida
The mission of YMCA READS! is to enable at-risk and disadvantaged children in Kindergarten through third-grade, regardless of their race, economic status, or capabilities, to increase their reading skills through structured after-school reading instruction and mentoring. Currently, the program operates in 17 public schools, 9 participating YMCAs in 13 counties in Florida. YMCA READS! is implemented in partnership with the Florida State Alliance of YMCA’s Foundation, Inc. and the local YMCA’s in Florida. Click here to learn more.
Locations: 13 Counties in Florida