City program gets Columbus kids ready to learn

A new program will give families help getting their children ready for school. Columbus Kids is a new partnership involving more than 30 community organizations, created to champion the need for kindergarten readiness and school success. It’s the first of its kind in the nation. Our United Way, along with several major funders, aims to increase the early detection of developmental delays and speech, hearing or vision problems among preschoolers within the boundaries of Columbus City Schools. The Ready, Set, Learn initiative helps them get the intervention services they need to be ready to learn.

Among the partners are Columbus City Schools Education Foundation, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, The Limited Foundation and individual donors.

The program will involve every neighborhood, one at a time, with the goal of involving all Columbus City Schools district preschoolers by 2013. Eligible children are 2½-4 years old and not yet attending kindergarten. They live or attend child care in either Weinland Park or Central City areas. Children in other areas within the Columbus City Schools district may opt in by taking part in a Learning Checkup event in the Weinland Park and Central City areas.

Parents can sign up through their child’s early care and learning program, home-care professional or by calling the hotline at 614-241-3089. Each will receive a $20 gift card each time they complete and turn in their child’s Learning Checkup. Each child also gets a free book.