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4C School Readiness Work Continues

June 7, 2016

Grant Books

Based on the success of a Literacy Celebration event at Sayler Park Elementary School last year, WCPO once again reached out to Lisa Garofalo, school and community manager at 4C for Children, to facilitate a similar donation in Butler County this year.

WCPO, the Cincinnati ABC affiliate, contacted 4C after receiving 1,000 books for distribution through ABC/Disney's partnership with First Book, a national nonprofit organization that provides new books to children in need.

Of the 1,000 donated books, 199 were distributed to preschoolers at Grant Early Learning Center. The balance of the books will be distributed to students in Head Start programs operated by Butler County Educational Service Center.

Lisa’s connection with Grant Early Learning Center comes through her membership in the Southwest Early Learning Leaders (SWELL) group. SWELL is one of the many groups and organizations she works throughout Southwest Ohio to promote kindergarten readiness and to help connect early childhood communities with local schools and vice versa.

The community and school networks Lisa facilitates help start conversations among parents, child care providers and schools around school readiness and provoke action on how best to prepare children for kindergarten. In addition, she works with Community Learning Centers at 10 Cincinnati Public Schools to support school readiness for parents and children.

“Each community that I work in has different needs and issues, especially in the area of early childhood education,” she says. “Oftentimes resources to address those needs and issues are found in the community when conversations start and people start working together.”

The book donation and distribution is a good example of the impact networking can have. “Because of the contacts established through SWELL these books were able to get into the hands of children who may not have access to reading material until next fall,” she said. “Every little bit we can do to further prepare preschool-age children for kindergarten is an important step on the path to helping them be more successful in school and life!”