April 12, 2016
Thanks to ReadyKids, a local nonprofit based in the Charlottesville, Va., the future looks bright for young children at Greenstone on 5th Apartments. The organization has been a staple in the Greenstone on 5th community for three and a half years, preparing families and children for success in school, relationships, and life.
“ReadyKids is a valuable resource that implements programs and classes to help children, families, caregivers and communities recognize the potential of every child,” explained CHP Resident Services Assistant Brooke Saba-McDowell, “and its impact at Greenstone on 5th has been substantial.”
ReadyKids serves families at Greenstone on 5th twice a week for two hours each day and has an average of nine children aged infant to five years, as well as seven parents and caregivers involved for over 80 hours per year.
According to Saba-McDowell, “the beauty of ReadyKids is in the quality and devotion of the educators, combined with the enthusiasm and dedication of the families that participate.” The classes consist of language and motor skills development, parent and child interaction through play, songs that signal the beginning and end of class to create consistency, and of course, mealtime. The educators also focus on building math skills, problem solving, and social development.
Saba-McDowell said the impact on the families is the most remarkable. Miseik, a parent involved in the program, stated that her daughter, Aierarsoi, has learned to speak English through ReadyKids. “Because Aierarsoi speaks our language, Mon, at home, she is learning to speak English at the Greenstone on 5th community center so she doesn’t need to go to an afterschool program when she enters kindergarten.” For Miseik, the program also gives her a chance to socialize with other parents and learn skills to be more patient and helpful in the development of her children.
The ReadyKids program at Greenstone on 5th is not only about education preparedness for school, it is also about developing important life skills. In addition to the program offered at Greenstone on 5th, ReadyKids and the resident services staff at Greenstone on 5th are pairing up with the PB+J Fund to offer off-site cooking classes at the PB+J Fund's industrial kitchen. The program is designed to give parents the skills, knowledge, and confidence to make well-rounded, healthy meals and offers playtime for the children. “This is a really exciting program that will also supply the groceries so the parents can cook their new meals at home for their families,” said Saba-McDowell.