Lower-income children in Danbury, and across the country, face more barriers to success than their more affluent peers. This is often called the achievement gap. Connecticut has the largest achievement gap in the United States.
By investing in children, their families and their communities, we believe we can close the achievement gap before it starts. To achieve this goal, United Way launched our Strong Start Kindergarten Readiness Initiative at Park Avenue School in Danbury. The mission of this initiative is to prepare all children in the Park Avenue School neighborhood for success in school, and to engage parents and caregivers in the life of the Park Avenue School community.
Modeled after the successful Thrive in Five (Boston) and the Harlem Children’s Zone (New York) programs, United Way’s Strong Start program connects families in this at-risk, under resourced neighborhood to a variety of agencies and support programs for the whole family with the goal to increase their children’s school readiness skills. Learn more about our Strong Start programs' progress to date
Events and programs offered through this initiative include:
- “Play to Learn” playgroups
- Workshops for parents of rising kindergarteners, offered in multiple languages, and with childcare provided
- Kindergarten Summer Skills Program, for children who have no formal pre-school experience
- Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors, a nationally recognized 10-week program developed by and for Latino parents of children from birth through age 5
UWWC is committed to this effort and is seeking funding partners to join us in moving the Strong Start model forward. We also welcome volunteers who wish to serve on planning committees.