Kids who start behind, often stay behind. Unfortunately, that’s particularly true for children of color in Ohio, according to a comprehensive report from Groundwork Ohio. In Cuyahoga County, just 22 percent of African-American and black children and 19 percent of Hispanic children demonstrate kindergarten readiness, as opposed to 52 percent of white children in the county.
PRE4CLE, Cleveland’s plan to expand high-quality preschool, convened a community conversation in April of 100 educators, nonprofit leaders, and others with a stake in Cleveland’s early childhood education system to generate ideas that will create more equitable outcomes for Cleveland’s children.
The Early Childhood Equity Forum, hosted by PRE4CLE, Groundwork Ohio, Starting Point, and Invest in Children, was profiled by Fresh Water Cleveland.
“This is not an easy conversation, but it may be the most important issue that we can tackle to create better outcomes for Cleveland’s children,” PRE4CLE’s Director Katie Kelly told Fresh Water Cleveland. “The data show that we have not closed the gap for children of color in our community, and we can’t keep doing the same things and expect that to change. We’re encouraged by the response to (the Equity Forum), especially the open and honest dialogue, thoughtful ideas, and optimism in the room related to working toward true change—in ourselves and in our community.”
ACS helped draft and launch the plan in 2014 to bring PRE4CLE to life. Since that time, ACS continues to provide advocacy, strategic communication, and media outreach services to PRE4CLE.