Schools

County kicks off campaign to support young learners

The Santa Clara County Office of Education launched the Steps to Success campaign last month with the goal of increasing enrollment and attendance in publicly funded preschool, transitional kindergarten and kindergarten programs. The effort was in collaboration with the Los Altos-based Morgan Family Foundation, which provided a grant.

The multi-phased implementation is set to provide comprehensive and inclusive access to learning. According to Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools Mary Ann Dewan, the Steps to Success campaign is increasingly important for students’ future academic and life success.

“Children who attend early-learning programs develop important cognitive, social and emotional skills for future learning and kindergarten readiness,” Dewan said in an email through a spokesperson. “As a result, they are more likely to be proficient readers by the end of third grade, more likely to attend college and more likely to have increased lifetime earnings, among many other long-term positive impacts, in both academics and life.”

The initial phase of the program is a website containing the necessary information to enroll children in the Santa Clara County TK, pre-K and kindergarten learning options. The second phase will focus on messaging and providing the community with centralized access to information on early learning.

“This is an extremely crucial effort to combat chronic absenteeism,” Dewan said. “Chronic absenteeism (missing 10% or more of school days) is a nationwide issue, and attendance trends reveal that kindergartners have the highest rates of chronic absenteeism in elementary school.”

Established in 1993, the Morgan Family Foundation supports programs focused on youth, education, the environment and other issues in the greater community. The foundation also has contributed to previous projects with the Santa Clara County Office of Education.

“We are very grateful to the Morgan Family Foundation for their commitment and support to ensure that every child in our county has a strong foundation for success,” Dewan said.

For more information on the Steps to Success campaign, visit tinyurl.com/yxbm5n74.

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