United Way launches pilot program for preparing young children for school

Born Learning Communities, a pilot program from the United Way of Greater Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky, focuses on parents' involvement in preparing their young children for critical academic milestones before they start kindergarten.

Born Learning Communities is based off of the United Way's Born Learning Academy, an initiative that empowers parents as their childrens' first teachers. There are currently 161 academies in the state of Kentucky; nine are located in Northern Kentucky. 

The Born Learning Academy was so popular that the United Way received several requests from churches and childcare centers to bring the programming to their communities. Born Learning Communities are not as intensive as the school-based academy, but thy still focus on the importance of early learning. 

Amanda Greenwell, director of the United Way's Success by 6 program in Northern Kentucky, applied for a grant through the United Way Worldwide. After receiving the grant, the United Way partnered with Covington Independent Public Schools and Covington Housing Resource Group and Headstart to launch the pilot program in City Heights.

“Born Learning Communities serves as a prelude to the school-based Born Learning Academies by meeting families where they live, while connecting parents and creating a support system,” Greenwell says.

Sessions have been focused on why early learning is important, the impact of everyday teachable moments, and early literacy. The fourth and final session, which will take place July 26, will focus on available community resources. Each session includes a meal for each family and opportunities for parents to practice the lessons they learned with their children.

“United Way Worldwide is very excited about the success of the pilot, and is interested in the next step,” Greenwell says. "This is a program that uses everyday moments to teach your children. Whether you're at the grocery store or sorting laundry, there's an opportunity to speak to your child."

Do Good: 

•    Attend the next session at 5:30 p.m. on July 26 at 2500 Todd Ct., Covington.

•    Learn more about Born Learning Academy.

•    For more information on the United Way, visit its website

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