Communities Selected for New “KidsReadyNC” Initiative

The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at NC State University today announced the selection of Catawba, Chowan, Randolph and Rockingham Counties for participation in KidsReadyNC, a new, 18-month initiative designed to help selected Tier 1 or Tier 2 communities strengthen leadership capacity within their local early childhood development systems.

  • Catawba (Catawba Partnership for Children)
  • Chowan (Chowan CARES)
  • Randolph (Inspired Randolph Collaborative)
  • Rockingham (Rockingham Partnership for Children)

Funded in part by grants from The Belk Foundation and The Duke Endowment, selected communities will receive tools and technical assistance, and will participate in a peer-learning process all designed to boost capacity and improve outcomes for children and families.

KidsReadyNC pilots an early childhood system capacity-building model delivering state- of-the-art technical assistance with a more modest funding commitment from the community and outside funders. It is a lower-cost model designed to produce positive outcomes for the participating communities while creating strategies and successes that other similar communities can draw upon in the future. Each site will identify one of seven measures of success identified by NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading stakeholders as priorities for action.

Technical assistance providers will work with each participating community on key focus areas, including a community-specific planning process, support for initial implementation efforts, and cross-community convenings to focus learning and build supportive relationships.

KidsReadyNC technical assistance providers include:

  • Janice Gruendel, Ph.D., M.Ed., Senior Fellow, Institute for Child Success; Fellow, Zigler Center in Child Development, Yale University
  • Laura Louison and Oscar Fleming, National Implementation Research Network, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
  • Elizabeth Gaines and Alicia Wilson-Ahlstrom, The Forum for Youth Investment

Community submissions were evaluated on their early childhood leadership and programmatic efforts, unique challenges and opportunities, and a financial and staffing resource commitment to the initiative.