Preparing our youngest community members for success

Kindergarten Readiness is centered around this critical goal: Every child entering school is ready to learn. Numerous studies have shown that investments in quality early childhood programs lead to better educational, health, social, and economic outcomes for individuals and entire communities.

Along with our partners, we work to identify strategies that prepare children for kindergarten and to promote the importance that access to high quality early learning programs plays in a child’s life.


Our Work

Using research to guide our efforts, the Kindergarten Readiness Network focuses on strategies for 4-year-old Kindergarten (4K) enrollment and for engaging families who have young children that will ultimately enroll in Early Childhood Programs in Racine County. Some of these initiatives include:


Kindergarten Readiness Checklist

A group of leaders surrounding early childhood development in the community developed a checklist to help families and the community understand the key indicators of “kindergarten readiness.” Since its release, community members have aligned programs, such as UW-Extension’s ‘Book and Block Parties,’ with content from the checklist. Click the following links to see the checklist in English an Spanish


Reach Out And Read

Reach Out and Read is a Literacy Program provided to Racine County children by Ascension All-Saints. From a child’s 6-month checkup and through age 5, doctors across the County prescribe (and provide) free, age-appropriate books at every Well Child visit. Doctors also practice reading those books during the appointment and encourage families to read together at home. Learn more


4-Year Old Kindergarten Study

Higher Expectations has partnered with Racine Unified School District (RUSD) and Acelero Learning to conduct a study of 4K programs throughout the community. The study was designed to see what factors in 4K are the largest predictors of academic and social-emotional outcomes. Read results of that study here. To enroll your child in a 4K program, click here. .


Imagination Library

Imagination Library was created in 1996 by famed country-singer Dolly Parton to foster a love of reading. All participating children receive free, age-appropriate books through the mail each month, from birth to age five. In 2016, United Way of Racine County expanded the program to reach all Racine County residents with young children. Higher Expectations partners with the United Way to understand the reach and outcomes of the program Learn more


Kindergarten Readiness Partners


Click on an icon to learn more about our outcome areas: