What is Success By 6®?
Launched in 2006, Success by 6® is an early childhood education initiative that provides knowledge about opportunities for early learning and pre-literacy skill development. Success By 6® is led by a community-based team of business leaders, educators and child advocates who strive to guarantee at-risk children age birth to six are healthy, safe, nurtured and ready to succeed.
Why do we need Success By 6® in Central Illinois?
From birth to age six, children's brains develop very rapidly, and early learning is crucial as it lays the groundwork for the future. Early childhood development programs initiate cognitive and character skills, preparing children for success in kindergarten and overall achievement in school.
Because parents are a child's first and most important teachers, future academic success begins at home. By actively participating in their child's early education, parents can increase their child's performance, growth and reading and writing skills.
Who does the program reach?
The Heart of Illinois United Way's Success By 6® initiative reaches at-risk, low-income families in Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Stark, Putnam and Marshall counties.
What does the program provide?
Success By 6® advocates and supports early childhood education through the:
- Be a Page Turner Reading Program
- Illinois Action for Children Building Blocks Program
- PNC Grow Up Great
- Getting Ready for School Family Activities Calendar
Be a Page Turner Reading Program
The Heart of Illinois United Way's Success By 6® Be a Page Turner Reading Program targets children ages three to six in Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties. The program:
- reaches 51 childcare sites and 153 classrooms
- provides nearly 3,000 new books per month to at-risk youth, totalling 150,000 books since 2008
- increases access to early learning information and provides parent-child literacy activities
After one year of being in the program, early learning results from the Be a Page Turner Reading Program illustrate results related to key indicators for school readiness:
- 88 percent could listen attentively to a story being read, up 15 percent
- 85 percent of students could answer questions after a story was read, up 20 percent
- 85 percent of students recognized the letters in their own name, up 31 percent
Illinois Action for Children
The Heart of Illinois United Way's Success By 6® Program partnered with Illinois Action for Children (IAFC) in 2012 to advocate for quality early childhood education. Funded by a grant from the Victoria Foundation and IAFC, the partnership was created to develop, research and implement collaborations to:
- improve access to early childhood education in central Illinois
- improve pre-school children's social and emotional skills
- build mathematical thinking skills
PNC Foundation's Grow Up Great
In 2012, the PNC Foundation's Grow Up Great program awarded Success by 6® with a two-year grant to teach area children how to spend, share and save as part of the For Me, For You, For Later program.
The program offers a variety of special events with children's activities, games, parent workshops and age-appropriate books featuring financial education themes such as sharing, saving for something special or how to make good life choices.
Getting Ready for School Calendar
Each year, the Heart of Illinois United Way distributes more than 25,000 "Getting Ready for School" calendars. From monthly learning themes to daily activities, the calendar is full of activities, suggested books and a variety of resources. They are available free of charge to preschools, child care centers, social service agencies, schools, libraries, pediatrician offices, and other locations throughout central Illinois.