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As KITS starts its second year under the Social Innovation Fund Grant, we want to express gratitude to our partners for their invaluable contributions as we learn how to implement this program on a broad scale across Lane County.

Receiving this grant is a great opportunity for our schools and our children. KITS helps children and families prepare to make the transition to school by providing a boost to children’s literacy, self-regulation, and social skills before kindergarten. The research is clear that giving children a strong start helps to set them on a path to success in school and life. Quality early learning experiences are predictors of health, happiness, development and learning achievement at school.

This grant comes with a unique set of requirements, and because of the structure of the project, many of those involved have been required to step outside of their usual roles to make this happen. It has been a great opportunity for collaborative problem solving as we navigate the best ways to make this work for our schools and our kids. We are grateful for everyone who has gone above and beyond, from the Education Foundations (Bethel, Springfield, Lane and Eugene) to the School Districts, to the classroom teachers and everyone in between.

We see that the hard work is paying off. After the first year, we are already hearing great feedback from those involved. “The first day of school for the kindergarteners was a huge tell,” said one KITS Site Supervisor. “You could identify those kids that were in KITS just by how well they were doing. And parents knew who to talk to and names and faces and what dropping kids off was going to look like. This really eased anxiety. It’s amazing.”

To sign up for KITS, or for more info:kidsintransitiontoschool.org

To contribute towards the grant match: Sylvia Barry at sbarry@unitedwaylane.org