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.
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