While there are plenty of programs out there to help school-aged children stay on the right educational path, there are far fewer organizations that focus on the youngest residents of East Chicago, those that have not yet started kindergarten.


The Early Learning Partnership (ELP) developed their Ready to Soar program in 2013 when they noticed an increased number of young children entering kindergarten with no preschool experience and low literacy skills. The program is designed to connect parents, schools and early learning professionals to keep everyone informed of what kindergarten readiness looks like.


Ready to Soar offers workshops and one-on-one meetings with program staff and volunteers to parents and school representatives. Opening this line of communication helps parents to understand what they need to do to be certain that their children will be successful once they enter kindergarten.


ELP recently held a Ready to Soar school-readiness screening event in Highland which allowed parents to have their 4 or 5-year-old screened by an early learning professional. After the screening, parents sat down with professionals to discuss their child’s results and the next steps that need to be taken to get them kindergarten ready by the fall. The upcoming East Chicago Kindergarten Readiness Screening dates for students who attend or are planning to attend each elementary school are as follows:


-Gosch Elementary: April 18

-Harrison Elementary: April 20

-Lincoln Elementary: April 21

-McKinley Elementary: April 25

-Washington Elementary: April 27

-Administration Building: May 10 (make-up day)


Ready to Soar makes an effort to identify and reach out to East Chicago parents and families who may need their services the most. This includes teen parents, parents who do not speak much English and low-income families. By identifying and providing assistance to these families, Ready to Soar helps their children to start school on par with the other children.


The Early Learning Partnership is a nonprofit organization that relies on grants from groups like Foundations of East Chicago (FEC) and donations from individuals and groups alike to keep all their programs, including Ready to Soar, running.


To learn more about the Ready to Soar program and how it is impacting youth and parents in the community, visit www.FoundationsEC.org.




Photo taken from Early Learning Partnership fo NWI Facebook page