Early Childhood Education: MyPre-K

and the importance of early childhood education

At Centennial we are committed to the impact of early childhood education on our youth. We clearly see the direct correlation between our youth’s success in life, the future workforce and economic growth.

When a Centennial team member is asked to speak in the community, we regularly encourage people to get involved in early childhood education in order to have a positive impact on our future workforce and our society. It’s a topic we’re passionate about for the benefit of the children and the benefit of our community. We know that EVERY child deserves to have the same opportunity to reach their fullest potential.

We are honored to have been asked to serve on the Pre K Works Steering Committee since 2015. This is the effort of many partners coming together to educate and advocate in the Northern Kentucky community and State of Kentucky about the impact of early childhood education for children in our community.

Read this early highlight of the body of work around early childhood education. We are committed to the early childhood education initiatives in Northern Kentucky, MyPre-K, and Cincinnati’s Preschool Promise.

About MyPre-K:

We know that quality early learning experiences make a difference in preparing children for success in school.  Since 2002, Success By 6, United Way’s early childhood initiative, has been partnering with school districts  in developing strategies that will assist in preparing our youngest learners for kindergarten.  Since then, we have seen tremendous progress at the state level including adopting BRIGANCE as Kentucky’s Common Kindergarten Entry Screener, defining what it means to be kindergarten ready and the recent expansion of our five-star child care quality rating and improvement system.

While we have seen encouraging momentum at the state level, we must now focus on increasing awareness and creating change at the grassroots level by engaging more parents and caregivers in the communities where they live.  To accomplish this, Northern Kentucky early childhood partners and school districts have agreed to implement an awareness campaign with a consistent message about the importance of learning experiences designed to increase community demand for high quality full-day preschool.

Our 40 project team members, for MyPre-K, represents teachers, pediatricians, school districts, early childhood partners and business leaders committed over two years of their time and energy to this massive project.  Through discovery and research, the project team spoke with 36 NKY families to uncover their motivations, values, and potential barriers to accessing quality early learning experiences.  These discussions were then used to inform the campaign messaging and awareness efforts.



Special thanks to the project team:

Amanda Greenwell, United Way of Greater Cincinnati

Amy Cooley, Erlanger- Elsmere School District

Amy Schardein, Kenton County Library

Beth Ketzer, Ludlow Independent Schools

Bill Bradford, Fort Thomas Independent Schools

Brent Cooper, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Brittney Howell, Dayton Independent Schools

Carol Freytag, Campbell County Public Library

Chris Burns, Encore Technology

Christopher Bolling, Pediatrician

Cindy Nickell, Teacher at Kenton County Schools

Danielle Haley, Grant County Schools

Elizabeth Fricke, Children, Inc.

Ellen Zimmer, Kenton County Schools

Geneva Hoffman, Grant County Public Library

Greg Duty, Southgate Independent Schools

Heather Clay, Grant County Schools

Jaclyn Anderson, Pediatrician

Jaesook Gilbert, Northern Kentucky University

Jay Brewer, Dayton Independent Schools

Joanna Surgener, United Way of Greater Cincinnati

Jon Adkins, Covington Housing Authority

Julie Kaeff, Silvergrove Independent Schools

Kate Dean, Childcare Aware

Kate Strater, Beechwood Independent Schools

Kathy Burkhardt, Erlanger-Elsmere Independent Schools

Kathy Reutman, Boone County Schools

Kelly West, Williamstown Independent Schools

Kim Weber, Northern Kentucky Cooperative for Educational Services

Laura Pugh, Pendleton County Schools

Lauren Kathman, Success by 6 Boone County

Leshia Lyman, United Way of Greater Cincinnati

Leslie Stevenson, United Way of Greater Cincinnati

Linda Poynter, NKY Health Department

Lisa Sensale Yazdian, Boone County Library

Marinell Kephart, Campbell County Schools

Marlene Jones, Southgate Independent Schools

Matt Engel, Erlanger-Elsmere Independent Schools

Mike Sipple Jr., Centennial

Nancy Grayson, Horizon Funds

Natasha Bigl, NKY Head Start

Nichole Hayden, Newport Independent Schools

Pamela Smallwood, HealthPoint

Polly Page, Northern Kentucky Education Council

Rebecca Zmurk, Covington Independent Schools

Rick Hulefeld, Children, Inc.

Rosemary Weathers Burnham, Rose Communications

Sandra George, NorthKey

Sandra Woodall, 4C for Children

Shannon StarkeyTaylor, Children, Inc.

Stephanie Byrd, United Way of Greater Cincinnati

Sue Griebling, Northern Kentucky University

Suzanne Thompson, Covington Independent Schools

Tammy Weidinger, Brighton Center

Tara Wittrock, Bellevue Independent Schools

Tesa Clark, Teacher at Dayton Independent Schools

Tony Neary, United Way of Greater Cincinnati


PreK Works

There’s more than one way to Pre-K

PreK Works

There’s more than one way to Pre-K

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