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Community Highlights

North Carolina: Highlights From Raleigh

Raleigh, N.C.

Early Childhood Focus in North Carolina

KidsREADyNC = kidonomics + grade-level reading + NC   

On April 24, the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at North Carolina State University and Community Development at the Richmond Fed teamed up for KidsREADyNC, a new 18-month initiative designed to help selected Tier 1 or Tier 2 North Carolina communities strengthen leadership capacity within their local early childhood development systems.

Four communities were selected – Catawba (Catawba Partnership for Children), iChowan (Chowan CARES), iRandolph (Inspired Randolph Collaborative) and Rockingham (Rockingham Partnership for Children) – to participate in the effort, made possible with funding from the Belk Foundation and the Duke Endowment for technical assistance and peer-learning process.

“Each community selects a measure of success from the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading initiative,” explained Jeanne Milliken Bonds, senior manager, regional community development. “As a state, we have a collaborative of leaders focused on improving opportunity for our children through a focus on reading at grade level by the end of third grade and ensuring children with disabilities achieve expressive and receptive communication skills appropriate for their developmental age.”

North Carolina has numerous efforts already funded and in progress in urban areas, including Forsyth County’s Great Expectations and Project Impact; East Durham Children’s Initiative; and Guilford County’s Ready for School, Ready for Life and Read Charlotte. The KidsREADyNC model pilots an early childhood system capacity-building model for communities with fewer resources and with goals for achieving options for best practices, new strategies for community infrastructure and a plan for investment.

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