Early Childhood Development
This initiative will improve social-emotional development, cognitive language skills, early literacy, mathematics, and science learning while increasing support and knowledge for educators, nonprofits, parents, and caregivers. This will help ensure that children meet developmental milestones that lead to success throughout their lives.
The Kindercamp initiative began in 2005 after a survey identified early childhood learning as a major issue of concern in the region. The initial partnership, between UWNA and the Flagstaff Unified School District, has grown to include schools throughout northern Arizona including Williams, Page, Lakeside and Winslow. KinderCamp is a targeted early intervention school readiness program that designed to help children, ages 4-5, with the foundational, social, and academic skills necessary for a successful transition into kindergarten. Students attending this program receive a basic dental hygiene screening and oral health lessons. Through home visits, parents and care providers are provided with literacy kits and one-on-one training in literacy, and nutritional and healthy lifestyle coaching. The combination of these services creates and ensures a successful and enriching future for its participants.
Dolly Parton Imagination Library
In 1995, the renowned singer and actress, developed a program, in her home of Sevier County, TN, to provide every preschool child with a library of books to encourage a love of reading and learning. The initiative was so successful that she began offering the Imagination Library in any community that would support it.
United Way of Northern Arizona became a partner with Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) to help families nurture a culture of literacy. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is not a charity or a social service; it is a gift to all preschoolers in a community that is financially supported through the United Way of Northern Arizona. Under the program, DPIL provides a carefully selected children’s book to children aged 0-5 once a month free of charge, delivered straight to their door, regardless of their family income. In some cases, these are the first books these children have ever owned.
When families read to their children, they learn crucial auditory skills. Children who excel in school educationally, socially and emotionally typically have been provided those important early literacy skills.
Building a home library will encourage a lifelong love of reading that will strengthen and support these children throughout their academic careers. Families who want to be enrolled in the program fill out a simple registration card and return it to United Way of Northern Arizona.