Organizations partner to deliver learning kits to children

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The organizations assembled 400 learning kits and delivered them to the homes of 4-year-olds last month. Courtesy First Steps Kent

Family Futures and Holland/Zeeland-based Ready for School are teaming up to provide more than 800 Kent County 3- and 4-year-olds with learning kits during their summer break.

The organizations assembled 400 learning kits and delivered them to the homes of 4-year-olds on May 15. The kits included a pot, dirt, seeds and a book.

On Saturday, the team delivered 385 learning kits to 3-year-olds in the county. Those kits will include pails, shovels, buckets and a book. Both kits also include resources for parents to continue to play and interact with their children throughout the summer.

“Thank you to an incredible crew of staff, volunteers, family members, neighbors for pitching in to equip kids for success in kindergarten and in life,” said Donna Lowry, M.D., president and CEO for Ready for School.

Ready for School is the West Michigan affiliate of Reach Out and Read, a national children’s program that incorporates books into pediatric care and encourages families to read aloud together. With funding from The Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage, Ready for School turned to Family Futures’ Connections database to find children most in need of Kindergarten Readiness Kits.

Family Futures operates a program called Connections, which helps parents recognize and support appropriate developmental milestones for young children. Through the program, children are screened for developmental delays or concerns, and if any are identified, families are connected to community resources.

“We are thrilled to provide resources to local children, which we know will successfully launch them into their educational journey,” said Candace Cowling, executive director for Family Futures.

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