Early Childhood

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Introducing Our First Partner Spotlight: Jubilee Park & Community Center

The Commit! team has started a new tradition of sorts; once a month, our staff arranges a lunch-hour visit to learn more about a partner organization, neighborhood or initiative. The purpose is simple: to listen, learn and break bread together.

Thus far, we’ve been hosted by some great organizations: Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation, Dallas Urban Debate Alliance, Concord Church, Vogel Alcove and, most recently, Jubilee Park & Community Center.

Panel on Parent Engagement Hosted by The School Zone

Panelists represent AVANCE, Workforce Solutions Dallas, Dallas ISD, and The Concilio. Event will take place September 23; RSVP here. Need more content so it will take up the whole space. Need more content so it will take up the whole space. Need more content so it will take up the whole space. Need more content so it will take up the whole space.

Dallas ISD and Partners Team Up for Pre-K Registration Event in South Oak Cliff

We all know that quality early education makes a lifelong difference. With fewer than half of Dallas County public school Kindergarteners entering school ready as measured by district assessments, helping more children get an early start on their education is a high priority for our region. This past Saturday, August 2, the nine elementary schools in Dallas ISD’s South Oak Cliff (SOC) feeder pattern came together to rally the community around enrolling local children in pre-Kindergarten. While April’s pre-K Roundup Week was highly successful across Dallas ISD, with 110% more 4-year olds registered for pre-K than last year at that time, plenty of open pre-K spots remained at many of the South Oak Cliff elementary schools. To engage families that hadn't previously heard about pre-K or been able to register, Commit! worked with the South Oak Cliff schools and community partners to put on a fun, family-friendly weekend registration event! Music, snacks, bounce houses, and face painting kept little ones engaged while parents filled out forms and prepared for the new school year. Each family who registered walked away with free school supplies to start their school year off, thanks to the Dallas Mayor’s Office. With the help of many dedicated volunteers and support from community organizations, over 50 4-year-olds registered for pre-K on Saturday alone. These children will join those already registered to participate in SOC pre-K Jump Start the week of August 11-15. Many thanks go out to our partners and supporters in the effort, including but not limited to Dallas ISD, Community Council of Greater Dallas, Dallas Public Library, WIC, Parkland, Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas, Dallas Regional Chamber, Radio Stations K104 (104.5 FM) and Smooth R&B (105.7 FM), Dallas Morning News, and the Dallas Mayor’s Office. Also a big thank you to all the volunteers!

Supporting our Youngest Students

Did you know that by 4th grade, only one in three of our students are reading at a level on track for college? Concerned members of the community from a wide range of career backgrounds have joined the Commit! Early Childhood Support Council, with all members sharing a common interest and goal of seeing the youngest children in the cradle to career pipeline succeed and thrive. They are focused on improving two community indicators: Kindergarten Readiness and 3rd grade literacy. The Council has been meeting once a month and is beginning to look at national research and local data that fall into a holistic framework for improving Kindergarten Readiness and 3rd Grade Literacy: Ready Families, Ready Services - Health, Ready Services - Early Care and Education, Ready Communities, Ready Schools and Ready Children. Get to know the members of the council here.

Tops in Texas, Dallas Region Commits to Kindergarten Readiness

Research shows that early childhood development is the most telling indicator of a child’s future success. Yet, we have historically struggled to act on that research because student data is rarely tracked during pre-Kindergarten years. But now that Dallas area school districts and childcare centers have enrolled more children in Texas’ Kindergarten Readiness System (KRS) than any other region in the State, we have a new opportunity to take action that will impact the lives of our kids during their most influential years. The KRS, a system created by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), tracks excellence in early childhood programming by linking data from the reading assessment a student takes when entering Kindergarten with the student’s pre-K provider. With thousands of pre-K providers in the region, an unprecedented degree of collaboration was required to enroll students in the voluntary online system. Beginning in April, leaders from area school districts, Head Start of Greater Dallas, Texas Workforce Commission, ChildCareGroup, Educational First Steps and Region 10 Education Service Center worked together to promote KRS participation amongst administrators, principals and center directors. When the enrollment period officially closed at the end of August, our region (known as Region 10) had enrolled a total of 34,000 children – more than any other in the State. Dallas, Grand Prairie, Richardson, Garland, Irving, and Lancaster Independent School Districts each enrolled 90% or more of their pre-K students. Head Start centers also played a critical role, accounting for more than 13,700 of the students enrolled in our region. Such high enrollment figures create an enormous opportunity to better understand how we are preparing our youngest learners to be successful in school. Using the information that will come from KRS, our region can now potentially identify best practices and then spread them. Furthermore, this level of cooperation and participation demonstrates the area’s dedication to expand access to quality early childhood education.