COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – City and county leaders are taking aim at a new imitative for the youngest in our community.
It’s a plan to ensure all children in Franklin County will be ready to step into a classroom: ‘Future Ready by 5 Plan’.
The goal is that by 2030 all early learners in Franklin County will be prepared for kindergarten. Plus increased access to early education opportunities and health services.
“The first thing we said is we don’t have all the answers, but we have the heart to make a difference,” said Future Ready Columbus CEO Jane Leach.
Her group has spent six months surveying the community. The group found only 40 percent of Franklin County Children are prepared for kindergarten.
She says they have a framework now for implementation, and for continuing to secure funding.
“There is funding already going out into the community and part of being a collective impact which future ready Columbus is, is we align those funds towards the initiatives in this plan,” said Leach.
Some strategies in the works are creating a family engagement task force, and creating a tool kit with education supports.
“It has always been our mission to make sure that our children as they graduate to kindergarten that they are 100 percent ready but to now have the support of Future Ready Columbus and the city of Columbus together will definitely solidify and strengthen our efforts,” said Charlotte Stille, Director of Programming, Southside Early Learning.
She says this about breaking down obstacles.
“One of them is providing grants and scholarship opportunities for students who might not otherwise be able to qualify for county services or be able to pay for the complete tuition, so we’ve created a sliding fee scale,” Stille said.
What will make this a reality? Leach says partnerships with parents and organizations across the board.
“There’s not one quick solution. It’s a comprehensive, collective plan of all of us working together to make sure that that happens,” she explained.
Leach says that this plan will be evaluated often and will continue to evolve over the years.
They will continually request feedback from families in the county.