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The DeKalb County Community Foundation is pleased to announce the distribution of 1,200 kindergarten readiness toolkits to children through the Kindergarten Readiness Toolkits grant program. Grants provided toolkits to children in every school district in DeKalb County. This is the fifth year of the Kindergarten Readiness Toolkit Grant program. The grant program’s purpose is to help families prepare for the transition from pre-k to kindergarten. Toolkits are made possible through donor generosity to CommunityWorks Funds at the Foundation.
“We are thrilled to help create a positive first step toward kindergarten by offering a toolkit that encourages play-based learning,” said Foundation Community Engagement Director Teri Spartz.
Genoa parent Natalie Wylde offered her thoughts on the toolkits, “These kits have many supplies and activities to jump-start their educational journey. My children treasure them so much that they still have their boxes intact!” Each toolkit box includes a book, dry erase board and marker, crayons, sidewalk chalk, scissors, Farm Matching Game, dice, play-doh, and information on Basics DeKalb County.
Toolkits are distributed to students and their families in the spring to ensure they have tools to promote active learning through play over the summer months. “Not only do these kits expose students to important skills needed, but more importantly, it allows us to spend time with our children while using these materials,” Natalie Wylde continued. “Thank you for getting our kiddos excited for kindergarten!”
Natalie’s daughter Tianna Wylde received a kindergarten readiness toolkit this year. Tianna exclaimed, “I love the box because we get to learn and read. It’s a box of fun!”
This year, the toolkit grant program received a generous $5,000 grant from Sycamore Charities to assist with the program’s cost. “People can relate to and feel good about giving to this initiative,” said Teri Spartz. “Over the years, costs have increased, making additional funding important as we continue this program.”
The toolkits drew interest from other partners like School Tool Box and the DeKalb County Farm Bureau to become a genuine community effort. The Farm Bureau donates the Farm Matching Game, while School Tool Box plays a key role in sourcing, assembling, and distributing toolkits to grantees.
The grant program originated as part of the DeKalb County Collaborative for Young Children (CYC), which leads a county-wide effort to better prepare children for school and life success. The DeKalb County Regional Office of Education oversees the CYC, which consists of organizations, schools, and community members who serve young children and families throughout the county. The Community Foundation is proud to be a part of the CYC and assist in the great work that they do. Together, we are helping to give children in DeKalb County a positive start to their education journey.
To learn more about the Kindergarten Readiness Toolkit Grant program, please contact Teri Spartz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-748-5383.
Funding for Kindergarten Readiness Toolkits is made possible through donor generosity to CommunityWorks Funds at the Foundation. Donations are accepted online, or by mail to the DeKalb County Community Foundation, 475 DeKalb Avenue, Sycamore, IL 60178.
Pictured above: Genoa resident Natalie Wylde and her daughter Tianna explore the contents of a kindergarten readiness toolkit together.