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Literacy On-Track Action Team

Goal: Children & youth have the literacy skills needed at all stages to support academic success

Key objectives

  • All children experience high quality early childhood education
  • All children are ready for kindergarten
  • All children are ready at key transitional points (i.e., 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 9th grades)

initial focus

Too many Evanston children arrive at Kindergarten without the fundamental early literacy and social emotional skills they need to be successful readers. This team is focusing initially on the transition between early childhood education and kindergarten. Their work has involved a number of different facets--all geared toward providing better information about the impact of early childhood education in Evanston and smoothing the transition between preschool and kindergarten.

First, the team worked to revise and, through the partnership between early childhood providers and District 65, efficiently beta test the kindergarten intake form to more adequately track children’s participation in early childhood programs. This will allow D65 and EC2C to better understand how various approaches to, and doses of, early childhood education impact kindergarten readiness.

They have further worked to significantly increase early kindergarten registration to allow for appropriate planning for the school year, to avoid disruptions in early weeks related to shifting class sizes, and to allow children the opportunity to meet their teachers, see their classrooms, and have a smooth, predictable start to their school year.

The team is working with principals, early childhood educators, kindergarten teachers and social workers to identify, expand and develop effective practices that create a smooth and productive transition to kindergarten by sharing vital information about children's strengths and needs among all parties.

Finally, a new document has been developed defining readiness for kindergarten with a goal of working with early childhood providers--including centers and home-based providers--to increase the number of children arriving to District 65 with the skills they need for a strong start to kindergarten.