SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -

The Springfield school district is gearing up for a campaign making sure all kids are ready for kindergarten.       It's all part of a ten-year initiative focusing on little ones and their moms and dads.

 

The ‘Every Child Promise’ initiative seeks to make sure no child comes to their very first day of class lagging behind their classmates. The program focuses on kids, from birth to age 6.

 

On Tuesday, planner for the program presented some initial findings to the school board.

 

Plans call for early childhood programs, like specialized daycare and preschool programs.  There would also be educational programs for parents to help them prepare their kids.

 

“First of all it is important for them and t their parents that they have access to the things that they can use to help make their lives better,” stated Todd Parnell, co-chair of the Every Child Promise initiative.  “Secondly, it is important to the community because we have to invest in our children now or its going to be a lot larger investment down the road. We have to do it now.”

“We are looking at local focus, local control, really knowing that if anything is going to be accomplished in our community we have to start here and get the people in our community engaged in that,” stated Dana Carroll, a child advocate who has been helping develop the initiative.

Work on the campaign started several months ago, and 157 people have been involved. 

 

“A lot of hard work, a lot of people involved.  A lot of pleaders, a lot of grass roots and a lot of volunteers have been involved, Parnell stated.

 

Those involved have been trying to figure out the biggest challenges kids face, and how to solve them.  A lot of these are special needs faced by a lot of kids- things like poverty, poor health and nutrition, even abuse and neglect.

 

The full details of the Every Child Promise initiative will be released on the 21st of January.