Every child deserves an equal start at school

…But inequity exists

What is the problem?

  • 1 in 5 children live in poverty.
  • For the past 60 years, 70% of low-income children enter school 18 to 24 months behind.
  • Most do not catch up. Eric Hunushek, Educational Economist, Stanford University, states, ” “The average performance of the lowest income students in the United States lags about three to four years behind … an achievement gap that has remained constant for more than four decades.”
  • Poor academic performances lead to lower lifetime earnings and poorer health

Why work on learning before school?

  • Kindergarten readiness is the #1 indicator of academic success.
  • Young children’s brains are primed for learning with memory, language,reasoning and communication skills peaking between ages 2 to 5
  • Investing in early learning is less expensive than waiting until school to catch and is more effective

Why work with parents?

  • Evidence show that the parent-child relationship and the home environment are the most influential factors in shaping a child’s development
  • This initial involvement carries over to involvement with their child’s school journey
  • Parent involvement leads to improved academic outcomes
  • Parents spend more time with their child, especially for children under the age of 6

Our mission is to ensure that every child gets an equal start at school.

How does our program work?

Icon of an adult holding hands with a child, heart floating above

Our program is free for low-income families with children age 2–5 in San Mateo County.

Icon of a delivery person holding a package

Learning boxes containing learning activities and books are brought to the family’s home every 3 weeks.

Icon of two people high-fiving

Training and support is provided to our families throughout the three years they are with us.

Icon of a rainbow superimposed atop a book

We provide a book a week for each child in our program. We do this because it has been shown that “the more words that are in a child’s language world, the more words they will learn, …” and books are a great way to expose a child to different words normally in the home.

And it Works!

For the past 3 years, we have evaluated our graduates using a play-based assessment and the work that the parents have done with their child in their home shows. All were kindergarten ready. Although there is no national or state standard, many schools in our county uses the Bridgance Assessment. Here are some of the skills they look for:

Their first and last name and age

Primary and Secondary Colors

Ability to draw shapes

Build a tower of 10 blocks

Body parts

Identifies upper & lowercase letters

Sort objects by color, size, shape

Print numbers

Verbal fluency and articulation

Simple arithmetic

To this list we add additional measures including the ability to recognize written words, their problem solving and planning abilities, and social emotional skills.

These results are for all participants that completed the program and have not moved from the area.

A collage of a float and sink science experiment activity, sea life flashcards, magnet fishing, fish  paper crafts, and a magnifying glass activity.
A child looking at sand through a magnifying glass
A collage of a train made out of egg carton pieces, a cork, and a toilet paper roll, a memory game, a garbage sorting activity, a letter tracing activity, a raft made out of cork with a paper sail, cardboard stoplights, and a counting activity with blocks and a printout of a truck.
A croquet-like game and a miniature soccer game with pom-poms for soccer balls, a field made out of cardboard, and a scoreboard.
A collage of a coin sorting activity, a cardboard dashboard, a paper bunny, a street scene made of cardboard, a cardboard crafts activity.
A child engaged with a coin-matching activity.
A collage of cookies, paper mache, paper lanterns, a sensory box, a stocking, and a felt christmas tree.
A child wearing a paper hat with a hand-drawn gingerbread man.
Two children making a felt christmas tree.
A collage of a bean bag toss game, an autumn-themed counting activity, an autumn-themed matching game, a foam pattern-making activity.
A child working on a pumpkin investigation activity.
A child holding a bowl of pumpkin seeds.

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