The United Way's plan focuses on addressing the underlying challenges that can keep young children, especially those in low-income families, from learning to read proficiently. One of these challenges is school readiness--too many children are entering kindergarten already behind.
Here are a few ways the United Way of Wyoming Valley is addressing to challenge of school readiness.
Keystone STARS is an initiative of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to improve, support, and recognize the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning programs in Pennsylvania.
The Keystone STARS Performance Standards provide the foundation for the program. The Performance Standards are grouped into four levels: STAR 1, STAR 2, STAR 3, and STAR 4.
Each level builds on the previous level and utilizes research-based best practices to promote quality early learning environments and positive child outcomes. The standards address staff qualifications and professional development, the early learning program, partnerships with family and community, and leadership and management.
Keystone STARS is managed through a partnership of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and the Pennsylvania and Regional Keys.
The United Way of Wyoming Valley is a proud to partner with Keystone STARS.
View the Keystone Stars website | CLICK HERE
View the Keystone Stars brochure | CLICK HERE
DOLLY PARTON IMAGINATION LIBRARY
The Imagination Library will help you read with your child. There are many reasons parents do not read to their child, but we can eliminate one of them. Every child will have books of their very own, at no cost to you, thanks to United Way of Wyoming Valley.
Each month a new, carefully selected book will be mailed in your child's name directly to your home. He/she can look forward to new and exciting reading adventures from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library until he/she turns five years old as long as you remain a resident of the Wyoming Valley. Should the child move outside the Wyoming Valley, he/she automatically exits the program.
To be eligible for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, children must be between the age range of newborn through the month he/she turns five, and reside in the United Way of Wyoming Valley service area.
CLICK HERE to go to our Dolly Parton Imagination Library page.
CLICK HERE to view our Dolly Parton Imagination Library graduation certificate.
CHILDREN'S BOOK DRIVE
This is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.
During this children's bookdrive, the United Way of Wyoming Valley collects new and gently used children's books that will then be distributed to children in the Wyoming Valley.
View Children's Book Drive Flyer | CLICK HERE
REAL MEN READ
REAL MEN READ is a volunteer reading program that brings in MENtors from the Wyoming Valley community to read to kindergarten students for one hour each month to help foster early literacy. The purpose of the REAL MEN READ program is to encourage and improve literacy skills of our students, show students that real men value education, provide MENtoring opportunities for students and demonstrate the importance of community partnerships.
The benefits to the REAL MEN READ program are students receive extra attention and positive role models who value education, boys and girls see MENtors modeling the importance of reading, and each student receives his/her own book to build their own home library so learning can go beyond the classroom.
View the RMR Flyer | CLICK HERE
Each year, the United Way of Wyoming Valley creates summer-themed literacy kits for children ages 3 – 5 enrolled in Pre-K Counts classrooms across Wyoming Valley. The literacy kits contain age-appropriate books as well as a variety of fun literacy activities and helpful information for parents to keep youngsters learning throughout the summer as they prepare to enter kindergarten.
TURN THE PAGE, WYOMING VALLEY
In an effort to introduce young learners to library services, we recently launched a new partnership with the Osterhout Free Library and the Wilkes-Barre Area School District. Through our new “Turn the Page” program, kindergarten and first grade students have access to the Osterhout Free Library’s Youth Librarian who visits the school library on a weekly basis and works to enhance what students are learning in the classroom. The Youth Librarian engages students in literacy rich activities including story-telling and puppetry to develop interest and enjoyment in books and reading.