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Applications are open for a new round of Kindergarten Readiness Toolkit Grants. Schools and school districts in DeKalb County, Illinois, are highly encouraged to apply. The applicant can be a kindergarten teacher or another school professional on behalf of the entire kindergarten program. Toolkit Grants support kindergarten programs, both public and private, located in the county. The Kindergarten Readiness Toolkit Program is made possible through donor generosity to CommunityWorks Funds at the DeKalb County Community Foundation. The deadline to apply is December 1, 2022.
“We love the toolkit box! It helped my child feel welcomed to school by the community,” said a DeKalb County parent. Another parent, new to DeKalb County, shared, “Thank you! Our previous school district didn’t offer anything like this. It helped my daughter become excited about going to school. She could not wait to start kindergarten!”
Toolkit distribution occurs in the spring during kindergarten orientation events leading up to the start of the school year. Applicants receive notification of grant status following the December 1 deadline.
“We are looking to provide about 1,200 kindergarten readiness toolkits to children in DeKalb County this year,” said Foundation Community Engagement Director Teri Spartz. “Each toolkit box includes a dry-erase board and marker, a book, crayons, sidewalk chalk, scissors, Farm Matching Game, dice, and play-doh. The toolkits provide opportunities for families to actively prepare their young learners for the transition to kindergarten. Together, we are helping to give children in DeKalb County a positive start to their education journey.”
The grant program originated as part of the DeKalb County Collaborative for Young Children, which leads a countywide effort to better prepare children for school and life success. The Regional Office of Education oversees the Collaborative. It consists of representatives from the DeKalb County Community Foundation, educators, community members, and local agencies that serve young children and their families.
The toolkits have interest from other local community partners. School Tool Box, DeKalb, plays a crucial role in sourcing, assembling, and distributing toolkits. And the DeKalb County Farm Bureau donates a Farm Matching Game to promote agriculture literacy and community.
For questions or to learn more about the Kindergarten Readiness Toolkit Grant program, please contact Teri Spartz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-748-5383.
Pictured above: A Genoa student explores the content of her kindergarten readiness toolkit.