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KidsReadyNC: Highlights From Raleigh, North Carolina

North Carolina children are getting the extra boost they need to prepare for lifelong success as part of KidsReadyNC, an initiative to improve learning and reading skills and strengthen local early childhood development systems.

KidsReadyNC is a partnership between North Carolina State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues, the Belk Foundation, the Duke Endowment and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Community Development team provides expert staffing and technical assistance for community asset mapping and financing sessions in collaboration with its partners.

This 18-month initiative grew out of a one-day Emerging Issues Focus Forum held in 2018 titled, “KidoNomiCs: The Economics of Childhood Education.” The event drew more than 400 business, civic, education and government leaders including Richmond Fed Research Director Kartik Athreya who exchanged perspectives, experience and research aimed at creating a success-ready workforce for the future.

Targeted project work is underway in Catawba, Chowan, Randolph and Rockingham counties and is led by the Catawba Partnership for Children, Chowan CARES, the Inspired Randolph Collaborative and the Rockingham Partnership for Children. These communities have come together three times in the past year for tools and technical assistance as part of a peer-learning process designed to boost capacity and improve outcomes for children and families. Each community determines their path by selecting one priority for action from the seven “measures of success” identified by NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading stakeholders.

On February 18, Senior Regional Community Development Manager Jeanne Milliken Bonds presented a financing webinar titled “Investing in America’s Workforce” for the four-county cohort participating in KidsReadyNC as part of the cohort’s efforts to map financial assets to achieve their programmatic goals. “The Federal Reserve’s efforts are designed to connect human capital development to CRA to banking, and to create opportunities for coordination and collaboration between those engaged in human capital development and banks,” said Bonds. “There are a number of promising strategies that present opportunities for investment.”

North Carolina leaders launched the NC Early Childhood Action Plan during a summit in Raleigh on February 27. The action plan identifies 10 data-informed goals that prioritize changing outcomes for children from birth through age 8.

The Richmond Fed’s Jeanne Milliken Bonds recently presented during a financing webinar for KidsReadyNC.


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North Carolina: Highlights From Raleigh

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