The early learning initiative aims to shrink the word, school readiness and educational attainment gaps in Jacksonville’s Health Zone 1 by providing families with materials to encourage early literacy and language, social and emotional motor development and family engagement. Healthy Start care coordinators will distribute resource kits during home visits to 5,000 families.
Happy Birthday, Graduate! is funded by the Chartrand Family Fund at the Community Foundation for Jacksonville, with matches from the Duval County Public Schools (DCPS), Baptist Health, the Jaguars Foundation and Winn-Dixie. The resource packets include:
- Nemours’ BrightStart! Parents’ Guide to Reading Readiness (age 0-4)
- Early Learning Coalition of Duval – Selecting Quality Child Care magnet
- Future DCPS Graduate bib
- Healthy Start Coalition resource materials
- UNF Florida Institute of Education Baby’s First Year calendar
- Finger-play games, songs and nursery rhyme cards
- DCPS Mascot “DJ” Finger Puppet
- DCPS Baby rattle
- DCPS Diploma
The initiative was announced on March 2 — the National Read Across America Day and the birthday of beloved children’s book author Dr. Seuss.