The Issue: Early Intervention for Low-Income Kids
By age 4, 85% of children’s core brain structure has developed. These early years are critical when it comes to creating a foundation for future academic and social success. For many children from low-income backgrounds, however, learning materials are not readily available, limiting their ability to absorb and grow—development that is crucial to their preparedness for kindergarten. These children also often suffer from a disproportionate lack of comprehensive medical care. About half of California’s kindergartners have dental decay, which can not only cause discomfort but also interrupt their education. Providing children with the supplies they need for oral health and early learning may help narrow the gap between them and their more advantaged peers by the time they start school.
The Campaign: Distributing Supplies to Preschoolers
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by K to College to provide early-learning kits and dental-hygiene kits to kids aged 3–5. For every $25 raised, K to College can distribute one early-learning kit and one dental-hygiene kit to one child in the K to College program. Every $10 raised will fund the purchase of five dental-hygiene kits. Early-learning kits include basic materials like Play-Doh, books, and art supplies. Dental kits feature essentials such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss. The materials are assembled in age-appropriate backpacks and distributed to pre-kindergarten kids with the help of the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
K to College
Pairing their civic-mindedness with a strong business sense, a group of University of California, Berkeley, students grabbed a laptop and a borrowed pickup and began delivering school supplies to underserved students across the region. Today, the nonprofit, K to College, distributes the resources students need to excel in school and attain a solid education. This nonprofit approach enables them to provide three dollars of supplies to disadvantaged kids for every dollar donated to K to College. Collaborating with local businesses, K to College creates grade-appropriate supply kits. Packed in a sturdy canvas tote bag, school supply kits of pencils, papers, and dental-care items go to public-school students in the free or reduced-price lunch program; alternatively learning kits are packed in pre-k back-packs. K to College also advertises back-to-school efforts through local TV stations and works with the Folsom State Prison to organize community-service opportunities for inmates as part of a rehabilitation program—an effort that caught the attention of CNN.