BY5’s newest initiative, Family Navigators, is up and rolling! On March 15th, close to forty community members came together over pizza to learn about how they could become Family Navigators.
What’s a Family Navigator, you ask? The short answer is, a resource and guide. The long answer is that Family Navigators are a diverse group of people—parents, childcare workers, social service employees, neighborhood leaders--working together to solve a big community problem. The problem is that while many members of our community have a wealth of knowledge about specific resources that are helpful to children and families, many times, these community members are not connected to each other or to larger networks where they could share their valuable information and expertise. Family Navigators work to eliminate this problem by giving community members the opportunity to convene and share both information and contacts with each other. By strengthening a Navigator’s knowledge of the community, we can help more families access the resources they need.
The Family Navigator initiative is the result of the efforts of one BY5 task force determined to come together to improve referral networks in our county. Throughout 2016, Family Navigators will meet several times in order to share resources with each other and the larger Network. If you’re interested in becoming a Family Navigator, we’d love to meet you! Contact Marissa at firstname.lastname@example.org or 765-216-7423 for more information.
BY5 Network Spotlight: United Way
It’s been said that not all heroes wear capes, and this is definitely the case with the many organizations and individuals working to support the mission and goals of BY5 through our BY5 Network.
Today, we’re spotlighting United Way, a member of the BY5 Network at the Ambassador Level. Ambassadors work as advocates and champions for early childhood issues, as well as investing in BY5 monetarily. For example, United Way has worked to help fund Kindergarten Countdown camps throughout Muncie—a critical program that supports BY5’s mission to help children become Kindergarten ready. We interviewed Jenni Marsh, CEO of United Way, to find out what it’s like to be part of the BY5 Network.
BY5: How has formalizing the BY5/United Way partnership--via joining the BY5 Network at the Ambassador level--added value to your organization and the work you do?
Ms. Marsh: By being a BY5 Network Ambassador, United Way is able to proudly show our full commitment to this community goal. It dove-tails perfectly into our bold goal for grade level reading. The Campaign for Grade Level Reading identifies school readiness as a barrier for those living in low-income households to truly have reading by grade level success. Because of our partnership with BY5 and our coalition’s work to support kindergarten readiness, Muncie-Delaware County was recently recognized by the national Campaign for Grade Level Reading as a Pacesetter in this effort.
BY5: What would you say to other organizations thinking about joining the BY5 Network?
Ms. Marsh: I would encourage other organizations to get on-board! BY5 has a robust plan for our children to be kindergarten ready—and it is going to take all of us working together to make it happen. There are really positive outcomes for our whole community when we are successful—so it’s important to be a part of this initiative. Best of all, there are different levels of commitment to be a BY5 Network member—so you can engage at the level you are most comfortable with and still know that you are making a lasting impact and improving our community!
Thanks to United Way for all the great work you’re doing as a BY5 Ambassador!
Upcoming Kindergarten Registration Dates
If you have a young child who will be going into Kindergarten this year, the pre-registration process takes place during the month of April. In most cases, you’ll need to bring your child’s birth certificate, a verification of the child’s address, vaccination records, and social security number to be able to register your child—but do make sure to call in advance to confirm what documentation is needed for your specific school.
Registration location & contact information
On-site registration date
Cowan Community Schools
Cowan Elementary School
Daleville Community Schools
Daleville Elementary School
Delaware (Del-Com) Community Schools
Albany Elementary School
Eaton Elementary School
Royerton Elementary School
Liberty Perry School Corporation
Selma Elementary School
Mt. Pleasant-Yorktown Community Schools
Pleasant View Elem. School
April 11 (online registration opens)
April 14 (on-site help with registration process)
Muncie Community Schools
April 7 (for all MCS schools)
Wes-Del Community Schools
Wes-Del Elementary School
Keep Room in Your Calendar for BY5!
We have had a hand in planning a number of upcoming events—make sure to add these dates to your calendar, and read future BY5 newsletters to keep up with developments on all these sunny, summer happenings:
Indiana Summit for Economic Development via Early Learning Coalitions June 7, 2016 Co-sponsored by BY5, Partnership for Early Learners and ELAC (Early Learning Advisory Council) Think early childhood education is only the concern of childcare workers and people with kids? Think again! Today’s children are tomorrow’s customers, workers, and leaders. For a better economic future, a whole-community approach is needed to support childhood education. That’s what this summit explores. Morning sessions will focus on why it's imperative for every community to focus on early childhood now if they want a better future. The afternoon will feature breakout sessions focused on early childhood coalition building at the local level. Nature Play Days June 11-June 19, 2016 In coordination with Indiana Children and Nature Network
Ever get the nagging sense that your family is spending too much time in front of screens? Good news: from June 11-19, there will be ample opportunities for you and your family to trade in the dull blue glow of your devices for the bright lights of the natural world. Diverse sites throughout Delaware County are currently working together to plan a series of nature-themed activities during that week, and the range of partners and locations means there are sure to be activities for all ages, abilities, and comfort levels. More information coming soon!
Help Me Grow BY5 June 18, 2016 Community-wide Developmental Screening Event
One of the major goals identified by BY5 is to help more children get early developmental screenings in order to help them learn, and grow into their biggest potential—before they ever set foot in a Kindergarten classroom. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, developmental screenings are short tests used to tell if a child is learning basic skills when he or she should. Developmental screenings can also be used to help determine if further testing is needed for conditions such as Autism. Our “Help Me Grow BY5” event, taking place on June 18 at Southside Middle School in Muncie, aims to offer free developmental screenings to the community in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. In addition to the screening booths, there will be family-friendly amenities such as free food and carnival games. Other health professionals and organizations will also have booths set up to offer information about other health services in the community.