KINDERGARTEN READINESS COLLABORATIVE
Through collaboration, our mission is to convene and support our partners in developing a high quality early childhood system that is family-centered.
As part of the Moonshot Moment, all children in Indian River County are prepared for kindergarten across the five critical domains: social/emotional, physical health and well-being, cognitive, communication, and adaptive learning.
Values define our behavior as Board and Staff.
What is a collaborative?
A community collaborative is a group of cross-sector partners committed to leveraging their individual resources to serve a common goal larger than any one organization can accomplish on their own. Kindergarten “readiness” involves a wide range of individuals, non-profits, state agencies, private providers, and businesses to ensure that a community and its families are working together to meet the needs of our children. The Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative is the backbone organization that organizes and convenes those cross-sector partners to develop innovative solutions in order to reach our vision that all children are prepared for kindergarten.
History of KRC:
Recognizing a need for innovative solutions to improve lives, break the cycles of poverty, and bring about lasting change in Indian River County, particularly in the area of education, local community leaders rallied together to form the Moonshot Moment. The community goal is to have 90% of 3rd grade students in Indian River County reading at grade level by 2018. Through strategic planning, visioning sessions, focus groups, best practice research, and parent input, kindergarten readiness was clearly identified as a vital step to growing successful learners.
The Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative engaged in a year-long process to analyze current community conditions, define and coordinate strategies, and build connections within the early childhood sector. The collaborative represents more than 40 social service organizations, foundations, funders and child care providers. In June 2015, the Executive Committee published the Kindergarten Ready Indian River County Strategic Plan and an Executive Summary. The strategic plan identifies local needs, incorporates community input, and translates best practice research into strategies for local action. Members of the Indian River County Funder’s Forum financially supported its creation. Staff members were hired in September 2015 to carry on the work of the Collaborative. They bring a wealth of collaborative management, nonprofit, fundraising, and parent engagement experience to the KRC team.
In December 2015, the Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative applied for and was awarded 501(c)3 Status from the IRS. KRC administrative staff is housed in United Way’s Nonprofit Incubation Center upstairs.
Recognizing a need for innovative solutions to improve lives and break the cycles of poverty in Indian River County (IRC), local community leaders rallied In June 2015, KRC’s Executive Committee published Kindergarten Ready: Indian River County’s Strategic Plan with an Executive Summary. The strategic plan identifies local needs, incorporates community input, and translates best practice research into strategies for local action. Members of the Indian River County Funder's Forum financially supported its creation. Highlights of the 2015 Strategic Plan include six strategies intended to inform and encourage community stakeholders to align limited resources around opportunities that will have the greatest impact on improving kindergarten readiness in Indian River County.
To carry out the work identified in the Strategic Plan, the collaborative hired staff in September 2015. Then, in December 2015, the Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative applied for and was awarded 501(c)3 charitable status from the IRS. KRC’s Board of Directors and staff work closely with TLA and MCAN to ensure a seamless communication and delivery system, as we all contribute to the larger community goal of preparing children for success in school and life.
As the momentum and community involvement continually increased, KRC’s Board of Directors recognized the need to have an Executive Director that would act as a lead convener mobilizing and unifying Indian River County around a common goal to ensure all children arrive at kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed. After a national search with over 75 applicants, in September 2017, Dr. Nivea L. Torres became the first ever Executive Director for the Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative.