Financing a Birth to Five Program: One School District's Model
Mar 15, 2011
Appleton, Wisconsin gets it. In an effort to get all of its students reading on grade level in kindergarten through third grade, the Appleton Area School District (AASD) recognized that it needed to reach children long before entry into kindergarten. CLASP's new factsheet, Financing a Birth to Five Program: The Appleton Area School District Model details their efforts to create and fund a comprehensive program to meet the needs of young children in their community.
AASD knew they couldn't do it alone. While recognizing the importance of the first five years of life, district personnel also recognized that their education expertise lay outside the earliest learning years. In 2006, the school district created a Birth-Five Coalition to address the needs of the youngest members of their community. The AASD determined that it could be most effective by expanding parent and community awareness of existing early childhood programs and services for children under five and by working in collaboration with community partners.
Financed in part with Title I funds, the district has put together a comprehensive Birth-Five program that includes a Books for Babies literacy program for parents delivering at local hospitals, community parent education workshops offered in partnership with local community agencies, Parents as Teachers home visitation, Early Childhood Special Education, Title I Preschool and Even Start Family Literacy.
Birth-Five Resource Coordinators now work in targeted elementary schools in the district to increase parent and community awareness of early childhood services, including developmental screenings for three- to five-year-olds, local Department of Health and Human Services programs, child care resource and referral services, Head Start, and the Family Resource Center.
Appleton gets it and they are a model for school districts thinking about how to layer multiple funding streams to effectively finance a comprehensive birth-five program.