Thanks to a generous grant from the Helios Education Foundation and funding from other community foundations, Make Way for Books was able to launch the Neighborhood School Readiness Collaborative through a project focused at and around 12 Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) elementary schools.
The comprehensive Make Way for Books Story Project was provided to every childcare center and preschool around the TUSD elementary school. We reached families in the neighborhood who do not have access to preschool or childcare through our Family Education and Literacy strategies (including Raising A Reader and Cover to Cover) at apartment complexes and other community locations in each neighborhood. In addition, Make Way for Books provided a connection to the elementary schools children will attend in the future by providing Family Education and Literacy programming. During the school day, parents and other caregivers with children, birth to five, who are not in preschool met at the school for early literacy programming each week. Finally, transition components were provided at schools and community resource centers. Through transition components including Make Way for Kindergarten, children and families were introduced to the school environment and staff and learned what to expect in kindergarten
Based on the great success of this project, Make Way for Books’ strategies have been expanded to serve children, families, and educators in Tucson Unified School District as well as Flowing Wells Unified School District and Sunnyside Unified School District.